Michigan Uses Information About Patients Tested For HIV to Build Civil and Criminal Cases Against Them

Since 2003, the Michigan Department of Community Health has been secretly collecting the names, dates of birth, risk categories, and other demographic information of people submitting for confidential HIV testing at grant-funded locations throughout the state and storing them in a massive database, a months-long investigation by The American Independent has discovered. […]

While MDCH claims the database does not contain personally identifiable information, a recent study, published last month in the University of California Press’ journal Social Problems, has found that some Michigan local health departments with access to the database are using it to pursue both civil actions—known as “health threat to others” actions—aand criminal prosecutions against people living with HIV.

Two separate issues in play here: 1) Patients are not being informed that the state could reassemble their data to connect names with health information, and 2) this seems like it must violate the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination.

Via ThinkProgress.