Marsha Jones, executive director and co-founder of The Afiya Center, a Dallas organization for black women living with HIV and AIDS, is alarmed by the request.
Because the state will have access to the records, she
worries HIV-positive and trans women will be outed.
"It could have devastating effects," Jones
, who did not previously know about the HIPAA clause allowing information to be released without consent, is concerned that her
clients likely may not know about it either.
"HIPAA is in place so people do not have to be concerned their health records will be shared," Jones
While it may not be true that all private information will be accessible to the government, Jones
fears the perception, coupled with fear, will increase the stigma of HIV and AIDS.
If someone is outed, people may not maintain their relationship with their treatment provider for fear of their lives.
Outing someone may prevent them going to any remaining treatment sessions.
"It's like the stigma that comes from abortion.
People go to back alleys," Jones
"Disclosure is 100 percent ownership to a patient.
This puts their life in jeopardy," she
"If other people know without their consent, it changes everything.
People have the right to live with the assurance their information is confidential and they do not have to share it."
The same situation applies to transwomen.
Treatments now make transitioning possible without visible signs, and "the only one who should know is the doctor providing the treatment," Jones said.
"Privacy is a treasure and not up for grabs, especially if everyone isn't ready to come out yet," she