HIV Status and Confidentiality

HIV Status and Confidentiality

HIV Status and Confidentiality 1275 678 Hugill & Ip
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Carmen Tang explains why, even though Hong Kong lacks specific legislation to protect individuals affected by HIV and AIDS against discrimination, the Disability Discrimination Ordinance acts as a shield to minimize the impact of such discrimination.

She also tells Will Ripley about the protection of privacy and confidentiality provided by the Bill of Rights Ordinance.

Visit our Wills of Concern campaign to find out more about how we are raising funds for AIDS Concern by writing wills for donations until end of 2019.

Carmen Tang解釋儘管香港缺乏保護愛滋病病毒感染者不受歧視的具體立法,但《殘疾歧視條例》仍然為他們提供一定程度的保障。她還向Will Ripley講述了《香港人權法案條例》下對隱私和保密性的保障。

由即日起至2019年12月31日我們會以撰寫遺囑為關懷愛滋籌款。欲知詳情請參閱Wills of Concern。



Will Ripley
Is there any specific legislation here in Hong Kong to protect people living with HIV and AIDS?


Carmen Tang
Not really. The Hong Kong authorities have decided not to provide any specific laws on that.


Will Ripley
Why is that? 為甚麼?

Carmen Tang
I think mainly two reasons: the first one is that there’s a voluntary reporting system on the collection of data in relation to HIV and AIDS which has been in place for a long time in Hong Kong and it proves effective and that’s why the administration thinks that no serious reform is required in terms of legislation and secondly I think the most important on is that the society has been aware of the risk of discrimination thus we have the Disability Discrimination Ordinance which not only protects the patients and also the spouses, cohabitants and also business associates. The Ordinance actually acts as a shield to protect against harassment and discrimination in areas like employment, education and also on provision of goods, services and facilities.


Will Ripley
Those issues are exactly why I think confidentiality must be a huge concern for a lot of patients.


Carmen Tang
Yeah, and actually in the fight against AIDS the most important role that the law plays, first one, I just mentioned about the protection against discrimination and also the protection of confidentiality, in fact in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance provides us that the individual’s privacy should not be interfered and also Common Law also recognises the duty of confidentiality.


Will Ripley
Does this even apply for example for healthcare workers?


Carmen Tang
Yes, this also applies to healthcare workers because actually for healthcare workers they do not need to disclose their status to the patients and also to the employers unless it is required and also with a consent. The reason for that is not just to respect their privacy but also in case for healthcare workers that might have been infected and if there’s a risk of infection, they are encouraged to seek proper couselling and help.


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