Was Sensitive HIV Information Released Illegally In Michigan State?
A possible breach in security regarding the private information of thousands of HIV-positive patients in the state of Michigan is currently under investigation by the Michigan Health Department, a development which has been reported on by Todd Heywood of the American Independent.
“While we cannot comment on the specifics of the current internal investigation, at this point in time we do not believe there has been an unauthorized disclosure of health information. However, if we thought there had been an unauthorized disclosure, we would have immediately started taking steps to notify any potentially affected individuals,” wrote Angela Minicucci, spokesperson for MDCH in an April 20 email to The American Independent. “At this time that’s all I can share with you without delving into further specifics and potentially comprising the investigation.”
Minicucci reiterated this information is a second email on April 20.
“I do want you to keep in mind what I mentioned earlier and to understand that the investigation is not complete,” Minicucci wrote. “That said, at the point we are currently at, we do not believe that an unauthorized disclosure has taken place.”
This statement belies the possible severity of the events in Michigan. Records show that information from the HIV Event System, an informational database with names and demographics of HIV-positive individuals, was included in thousands of emails were allegedly forwarded from secure emails to outside addresses.