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Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety § 7608. Court order

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(a) Order to disclose.--No court may issue an order to allow access to confidential HIV-related information unless the court finds, upon application, that one of the following conditions exists:

(1) The person seeking the information has demonstrated a compelling need for that information which cannot be accommodated by other means.

(2) The person seeking to disclose the information has a compelling need to do so.

(b) Order to test and disclose.--No court may order the performance of an HIV-related test and allow access to the test result unless the court finds, upon application, that all of the following conditions exist:

(1) The individual whose test is sought was afforded informed consent and pretest counseling procedures required by section 5(a) and (b) and the subject refused to give consent or was not capable of providing consent.

(2) The applicant was exposed to a body fluid of the individual whose test is sought and that exposure presents a significant risk of exposure to HIV infection.  A determination that the applicant has incurred a significant risk of exposure to HIV infection must be supported by medical and epidemiologic data regarding the transmission of HIV, including, if available, information about the HIV risk status of the source individual and the circumstances in which the alleged exposure took place.

(3) The applicant has a compelling need to ascertain the HIV test result of the source individual.

(c) Compelling need.--In assessing compelling need for subsections (a) and (b), the court shall weigh the need for disclosure against the privacy interest of the individual and the public interests which may be harmed by disclosure.

(d) Pleadings.--Pleadings under this section shall substitute a pseudonym for the true name of the individual whose test result is sought.  Disclosure to the parties of the individual's true name shall be communicated confidentially in documents not filed with the court.

(e) Notice.--Before granting an order for testing or disclosure and as soon as practicable after the filing of a petition under this section, the court shall provide the individual whose test result is sought with notice and a reasonable opportunity to participate in the proceeding if the individual is not already a party.

(f) In camera proceedings.--Court proceedings under this section shall be conducted in camera, unless the individual agrees to a hearing in open court or unless the court determines that a public hearing is necessary to the public interest and the proper administration of justice.

(g) Expedited proceeding.--The court shall provide for an expedited proceeding if it is requested by the applicant and the application includes verified statements that:

(1) The applicant has been exposed to a body fluid that poses a risk of HIV infection from the individual whose test result is sought.

(2) The exposure occurred within six weeks of the filing of the application.

(3) The exposure involves:

(i) a percutaneous injury to the applicant's skin from a needle stick or other sharp object;

(ii) contact of the applicant's eyes, mouth or other mucous membrane;

(iii) contact of chapped or abraded skin of the applicant;  or

(iv) prolonged contact of the applicant's skin.

An expedited proceeding on the application shall be held no later than five days after the court complies with subsection (e), pertaining to notice requirements.

(h) Safeguards against disclosure.--Upon the issuance of an order to disclose the information, the court shall impose appropriate safeguards against unauthorized disclosure which shall specify the following:

(1) The particular information which is essential to accommodate the need of the party seeking disclosure.

(2) The persons who may have access to the information.

(3) The purposes for which the information will be used.

(4) The appropriate prohibitions on future disclosure as provided for in section 7.  1

1 35 P.S. § 7608.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety § 7608. Court order - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/pa/title-35-ps-health-and-safety/pa-st-sect-35-7608/


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