Law & Governance
[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy, 11(4)]
In the process of receiving perinatal care, women living with HIV (WLWH) in Canada have experienced disclosure of their HIV status without their express consent. This disclosure often occurs by well-intentioned healthcare providers; however, from the perspective of WLWH, it is a breach of confidentiality and leaves WLWH to manage the consequences. This paper is a critical review of the regulatory and legislative infrastructure that exists to protect the personal health information of WLWH in Ontario and Canada; the recourse that WLWH have in the event that their confidentiality is breached; and potential approaches that could be applied to organize the system differently to decrease the chance of a privacy breach and to facilitate appropriate collection, use and disclosure of personal health information.
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