Release of VA Records Relating to HIV
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its medical regulations governing the release of VA medical records. Specifically, VA is eliminating the restriction on sharing a negative test result for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with veterans' outside providers. 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 on veterans when VA tries to share electronic medical information with the veterans' outside providers through electronic health information exchanges. For this same reason, VA will also eliminate restrictions on negative test results of sickle cell anemia. This final rule eliminates the current barriers to electronic medical information exchange.