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Protecting the Civil Rights and Health Information Privacy Rights of People Living with HIV/AIDS


 HIV/AIDS and Healthcare Disparities

A Picture of Today’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the U.S.According to the CDC in 2012, more than one million people are living with HIV in the U.S.  Annually, an estimated 50,000 Americans become infected with the disease.  One in five or 20% are unaware of their infection.  OCR’s enforcement efforts protect the civil rights and health information privacy rights of people living with HIV, resulting in increased access to quality health care and reduced HIV-related discrimination, stigma and disparities.


Civil Rights 

OCR ensures that people have equal access to and an opportunity to receive services from all HHS funded programs. Persons who believe they (or someone else) have been discriminated against in health care or human services may file a complaint with OCR.



Health Information Privacy Rights

Doctor holding medical folderOCR also enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, a set of federal standards to protect the privacy and security of patients' medical records and other health information maintained by covered entities: health plans; most doctors, hospitals and many other health care providers; and health care clearinghouses. These standards provide patients with access to their medical records and with significant control over how their personal health information is used and disclosed. Persons with HIV/AIDS who believe that their health information privacy rights have been violated may file a complaint with OCR.