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List of AIDS Patients E-mailed to Palm Beach County Workers


Benevolent Dictator
DP Veteran
May 19, 2004
Reaction score
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Source: First Coast News

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (AP) -- A controversy is brewing over the release of a confidential list of 4500 Palm Beach County residents with AIDS and 2,000 residents who are HIV positive. Officials say the list was inadvertently e-mailed to more than 800 Palm Beach County workers.

Computer technicians quickly shut down the county health department's e-mail system and officials believe only about 10 people opened the e-mail.

A spokesman says Palm Beach County Health Department Director Doctor Jean Malecki has launched a "full and major investigation" into the incident.

A statistician accidently attached the file with the identities and addresses of AIDS patients and others who have tested HIV positive to an e-mail containing a montly statistics report.

Not sure about you, but this scares me to think that this could even happen.
vauge said:
Source: First Coast News

Not sure about you, but this scares me to think that this could even happen.

Really scary. You should be able to trust your health service.

More than likely this was a genuine accident, but even so .....
This is definitely a HIPAA violation but only in the sense of the law. It does look like the e-mail was sent solely internally and that those who opened it (only 10 people) had signed confidentiality agreements:
State health officials are expected to begin their own investigation today into an e-mail error that sent a confidential list of AIDS patients and people with HIV to more than 800 Palm Beach County Health Department employees last week.

Department chief Dr. Jean Malecki asked the state agency's inspector general to look into the incident, in which a statistician mistakenly attached the list to a report e-mailed to most of the department's 900 employees Thursday morning. Officials said the error was caught within minutes, and the internal e-mail system was shut down after only 10 people had opened the message.

O'Connor said all health department employees must sign a confidentiality agreement as a condition of employment that prohibits the release of any information on the identity of individuals suffering from communicable diseases tracked in the public health system. Health department staffers also are required to complete a training class on client confidentiality.
Gee...maybe they'll start making Aids patients wear a scarlet A on their chest?!

Then we could all recognize them!

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