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The HIV Patient Bill of Rights

Understand Your Rights as a Patient

By

Updated May 10, 2009

All patients have rights, including those patients living with HIV. Here is the HIV Patient Bill of Rights. Know your rights and you will be better prepared to protect yourself.
  1. The person with HIV has the right to considerate and respectful care regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender or payment source.

  2. The person with HIV has the right to, and is encouraged to, obtain current and understandable information concerning diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.

  3. The person with HIV has the right to know the identity of the physician, nurses and others involved in his/her care, including those who are students, residents or other trainees.

  4. The person with HIV has the right to work with the physician or nurse in establishing their plan of care, including the refusal of a recommended treatment, without the fear of reprisal or discrimination.

  5. The person living with HIV has the right to privacy.

  6. The person living with HIV has the right to expect that all records and communication are treated as confidential except in the case of abuse.

  7. The person living with HIV has the right to review his/her own medical records and request copies of them.

  8. The person living with HIV has the right to expect that an advance directive (such as a living will, health care power of attorney) will be honored by the medical staff.

    Plan for the Future with a Power of Attorney / Advanced Directive

  9. The person living with HIV has the right to receive timely notice and explanation of changes in fees or billing practices.

  10. The person living with HIV has the right to expect an appropriate amount of time during their medical visit to discuss their concerns and questions.

    How to Get the Most from Your Time With Your Doctor

  11. The person living with HIV has the right to expect that his/her medical caregivers will follow universal precautions.

    Universal Precautions

  12. The person living with HIV has the right to voice his/her concerns, complaints and questions about care and expect a timely response.

  13. The person living with HIV has the right to expect that the medical caregivers will give the necessary health services to the best of their ability. If a transfer of care is recommended, he/she should be informed of the benefits and alternatives.

  14. The person living with HIV has the right to know the relationships his/her medical caregivers have with outside parties (such as health care providers or insurers) that may influence treatment and care.

  15. The person living with HIV has the right to be told of realistic care alternatives when the current treatment is no longer working.

  16. The person living with HIV has the right to expect reasonable assistance to overcome language (including limited English proficiency), cultural, physical or communication barriers.

    Culturally Sensitive Care

  17. The person living with HIV has the right to avoid lengthy delays in seeing medical providers; when delays occur, he/she should expect an explanation of why they occurred and, if appropriate, an apology.

Source:

    Wilder, Terri. "A Guide to Getting Good HIV/AIDS Medical Care." Survival News 01 July 2000: 1-3.

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