Public health

Public health legislation in each state underpins the role of government in regulating public health and responding to disease. HIV is a notifiable disease in all Australian jurisdictions, meaning that medical practitioners must notify health authorities when an HIV diagnosis is made.

HIV is a notifiable disease in all states and territories, providing a mechanism for doctors to  mandatorily report de-identified HIV diagnoses. Medical records remain confidential, and laboratories and state, territory and national databases (maintained by Departments of Health and the Kirby Institute) are given coded information regarding each HIV diagnosis and related data (such as age, location, mode of transmission) but not the identity of the individual concerned.

Public health legislation in each state allows health authorities to manage people with HIV (and other notifiable diseases such as tuberculosis) who are at risk of infecting others. This management typically involves a series of interventions, beginning  with counselling and escalating to imposition of a public health order and even confinement if necessary.

See also: Confidentiality in HIV test results