Release of VA Records Relating to HIV
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its medical regulations governing the release of VA medical records. Specifically, VA proposes to eliminate the restriction on protecting a negative test result for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV testing is a common practice today in healthcare and the stigma of testing that may have been seen in the 1980s when HIV was first discovered is no longer prevalent. Continuing to protect negative HIV tests causes delays and an unnecessary burden to veterans when VA tries to share electronic medical information with the veterans' outside providers for their treatment through health information exchange efforts. For this same reason, VA would also eliminate negative test results of sickle cell anemia as protected medical information. This proposed rule would eliminate the current barriers to electronic medical information exchange.