HC Deb 20 January 1986 vol 90 cc64-5W
Mr. Ernie Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidance Her Majesty's Government gives to those screening for acquired immune deficiency syndrome as to the extent to which they may pass on details of the tests or the results other than to the patient and his medical advisers, the form in which such information may be disclosed and the extent to which the information disclosed may identify the patient; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hayhoe

The advice my Department has issued on the confidentiality of information relating to people who have AIDS or are infected with HTLV III antibody is contained in the document "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome—AIDS Booklet 2—Information for doctors concerning the introduction of the HTLV III Antibody Test", a copy of which is in the Library. That statesThe strictest confidentiality must be maintained when an HTLV III antibody positive individual is identified…Unless the patient has given his consent, personal health data relating to him must not be disclosed to anyone for any purpose other than the health care of that patient, except where the disclosure is necessary to prevent the spread of infection.

Such exceptional circumstances are a matter of professional judgment by a doctor in the light of the circumstances of a case.