[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Allegheny County 3-21-2001 by Ord. No. 24-01, effective 3-21-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This chapter was originally adopted as Article V of the Board of Health Regulations.
The Allegheny County Health Department finds that Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) surveillance is necessary to determine the incidence and prevalence of HIV-infected individuals in Allegheny County. This will aid in early identification and treatment, evaluation and implementation of preventive measures and programs, definition of the need for additional HIV related medical and social services, and directing resources towards those populations in the county with the greatest need. Therefore, the purpose of these regulations is to implement a reporting system in Allegheny County.
The regulation of HIV reporting is necessary to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the County of Allegheny.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A patient does not use the patient's name as identification and uses a unique nonidentifying code known only to the individual being tested.
- A sex or needle-sharing partner of the patient.
- The Allegheny County Health Department.
- The Director of the Allegheny County Health Department.
- HEALTH CARE FACILITY
- A general or special hospital including tuberculosis and psychiatric hospitals; rehabilitation facilities; skilled nursing facilities; kidney disease treatment centers, including freestanding hemodialysis units; intermediate care facilities and ambulatory surgical facilities, both profit and nonprofit, and including those operated by an agency of state or local government; and any other facility that tests for the presence of HIV.
- Infection with the human immunodeficiency (virus) viruses that are the cause of AIDS, or, as the term may be defined from time to time by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Public Health Service, or any other agent identified as a probable cause of AIDS.
- The number of cases of a disease in a defined population over a specific period of time.
- PARTNER NOTIFICATION
- An attempt on the part of the physician, health care facility, or testing site to offer services to the HIV positive patient which include notification to the patient's contact(s)of the possibility of exposure and the availability of counseling and testing.
- The number of cases of a disease existing in a given population at a specific time period or time point.
- A. A serum specimen repeatedly reactive for HIV antibody by a licensed screening test (for example, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (EIA) that has been verified by a more specific subsequent test [such as Western Blot or immuno-fluorescence assay(IFA)];
- B. A positive lymphocyte culture verified by a specific HIV antigen test or by in situ hybridization using a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) probe;
- C. A positive result on any other highly specific test for HIV, including but not limited to OraSure testing methods; and
- D. Any other testing that may be approved by the Department.
- UNIQUE PATIENT IDENTIFYING CODE
- A specific alphanumeric code assigned to a patient which distinguishes one patient from all other patients, does not reveal the patient's identity, and remains the same regardless of when or where the patient is tested.
A physician, other than a psychiatrist, who treats or examines a person who is suffering from HIV shall make a report of the condition to the Department within 15 days of the initial examination.
A person who is in charge of a laboratory in which a laboratory examination of a specimen derived from the human body as a result of a serological test yields evidence of the presence of HIV shall report the condition to the Department within 15 days of the examination.
The report shall be on a form prescribed by the Department.
The report shall be mailed to the Department at address designated on the report provided by the Department.
The laboratory will report based on the method of reporting used by the testing or treatment facility unless the laboratory is the initial test site.
A person in charge of a health care facility where any person is treated or examined who is suffering from HIV shall make a report of the condition to the Department within 15 days of the initial examination, but the report shall not relieve physicians of their duty to report in the manner set forth herein.
Prior to any testing pursuant to these regulations, the physician, reporting laboratory, or health-care facility offering such test or who offers treatment, shall inform the patient of the recognized manners of reporting, (i.e., name-based, unique identifier, and anonymous) and inform the patient of his or her option to choose the manner of reporting. If the chosen manner of reporting is not available at that site, the physician, laboratory, or health-care facility shall refer the patient to an alternative testing site.
Reports required shall be on forms prescribed and approved from time to time by the Department.
Information required shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
Name, address and telephone number of the reporting physician, laboratory or health care facility.
Date, type and result of laboratory test.
Patient information shall include:
Social Security number.
Date of birth.
Date of examination.
Risk factor consisting of the following:
Men having sex with men.
Men having sex with men coupled with intravenous drug use.
Heterosexual intravenous drug usage.
Sex partner at risk.
Child of HIV positive mother.
Sexually transmitted disease diagnosis.
Sex for drugs or money.
Sex while using drugs.
Hemophiliac or blood recipient.
Victim of sexual assault.
Health care exposure.
No acknowledged risk.
A statement from the physician or reporting agency as to whether the patient executed a written consent for the location and notification of any individual who the infected subject may have exposed to HIV.
Notwithstanding the reporting information requirements contained in the foregoing § 530-8B(3)(a) through (c), any physician, reporting laboratory, or health-care facility may elect to report HIV patient information on a coded basis using a unique patient identifying alphanumeric code consisting of the following letters and numbers:
The unique patient identifying code is a fourteen-digit alpha/numeric code consisting of the following letters and numbers reading from left to right:
The first letter of the patient's last name.
The second letter of the patient's first name.
The last four digits of the patient's Social Security number.
Six digits representing the patient's date of birth listed in order of month, day, and year: (e.g., 06/17/55).
If any element of information required to construct the unique patient identifying number is not available and cannot be obtained, the individual assigning the unique number shall substitute seven for each missing digit.
In the event that a health care facility offers anonymous HIV testing, only demographic and risk exposure category information is required to be reported on forms prescribed by the Department.
The Director of the Department shall maintain records that will permit the efficient function of the Department for the prevention and control of HIV.
The Department is authorized to receive confidential HIV-related information by virtue of the Confidentiality of HIV-Related Information Act, 1990, Nov. 29, P.L. 585, No. 148, § 7, and by the Act of April 23, 1956 (1955 P.L. 1510, No. 500), known as the "Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955."
The Department shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter and any other rule or regulation of the Department.
When the Director determines that there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter, the Director shall give notice of the violation as follows to the person responsible for compliance under this chapter.
The notice shall:
Be in writing;
Include a statement of the violation;
Specify a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires; and
The notice shall be served by mailing a copy of the notice, by first-class mail, postage prepaid, to the person responsible for compliance under this chapter.
Any person or legal entity aggrieved by the action of the Department, or by any order, notice, decision or determination issued by the Department, may file an appeal in accordance with Article XI, entitled "Hearings and Appeals."
Editor's Note: The complete rules and regulations of the Department of Health are on file in the county offices and are available for review during regular office hours.
Summary offenses. Any person or legal entity who violates any of the provisions of this chapter, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding before any District Magistrate of Allegheny County, or before any Magistrate of the Pittsburgh Magistrate Court, shall be sentenced to pay a fine up to $300 and the costs of prosecution.
Civil penalties. The Director may assess a civil penalty against any person or legal entity who violates any of the provisions of this chapter. The Director may assess a civil penalty against such person or legal entity whether or not the violation is intentional. The penalty so assessed shall be a sum up to $10,000 for each violation.