XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Developing and implementing national policy in Haiti for improved patient privacy and HIV case reporting

G. Meredith

National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, Global Program, Washington, United States

Issues: In 2003, the government of Haiti and the Ministry of Health (MOH) began working with NASTAD and other international partners to evaluate, re-design, and implement a new HIV/AIDS Case Surveillance System. The assessment and pilot phases made it apparent that policy and/or law mandating infectious disease reporting would be critical to the system's success, and that patient privacy and human rights must be protected throughout the HIV testing, reporting, and treatment and care process.
Description: NASTAD worked with the MOH and their legal team to identify existing laws or precedents, and undertook an assessment of need and proposed solutions with key stakeholders. Subsequently, two documents were created and implemented: national policy to mandate HIV case reporting, and a national notice to all health care settings to inform practitioners of the policy and expectations.
NASTAD created training modules covering patient privacy and patient record confidentiality that were provided to over 500 health care workers in Haiti, covering over 90% of all HIV sites. In addition, NASTAD developed patient informed consent form for HIV testing, patient record confidentiality policy, provider confidentiality statement forms, HIV surveillance data sharing policy, and HIV surveillance data request forms.
Lessons learned:
  • Health care workers are interested in the notions of patient privacy and record confidentiality but historically didn't have the knowledge or tools to ensure them.
  • The implementation of mandated HIV case reporting has enabled buy-in from implementing partners, and significantly improved the completeness of case reporting, but without reporting legislation, complete and comprehensive reporting will never occur.
Next steps: NASTAD continues partnership with the MOH, reinforcing the work that has been done to date, and expanding collaboration to general infectious disease reporting; through this process, NASTAD is optimistic that mandated infectious disease reporting law will be drafted and proposed for codification into law.

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