Groups Allege CA Agency Shared HIV Patient Data

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ California’s health department is being accused of violating state privacy laws by giving personal information about HIV-positive patients to a nonprofit group.

Three legal groups wrote an angry letter to department chief David Maxwell-Jolly on Thursday, demanding an explanation for what they termed “a gross affront” to patient confidentiality.

A health department spokeswoman says staff members are working on a response.

An attorney with the ACLU of Northern California says health officials acknowledged turning over the names, addresses and telephone numbers of an estimated 5,000 Medi-Cal recipients to the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The foundation was under contract to run an outreach program for HIV-positive Californians with low incomes.

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