April 21, 2017
The attention of the Directorate of the National HIV and AIDS Secretariat (NAS) has been drawn to a document entitled “list of girls with HIV -1” bearing names purported to be Sierra Leonean ‘Girls with HIV’ on what looks like a letterhead of Marie Stopes Sierra Leone that is being circulated on social media.
The Secretariat views with dismay the act by any person or group of persons to publish such records or any record whatsoever of anybody relating to their HIV status without the consent of those individuals.
As a Secretariat, we wish to ensure the general public and especially anybody who might have seen a name similar to theirs in that list that the so called list is a fictitious document that bears no authenticity in its source or credential. There is no truth in that list whatsoever.
Marie Stopes Sierra Leone has been a partner to NAS for over 10 years and we still do have confidence in the quality of HIV and AIDS related services they provide.
The position of NAS on the Confidentiality and Disclosure of health records of People Living with HIV is guided by the National AIDS Commission Act of 2011. NAS would like to remind all those who are involved in circulating such false information that it is a prohibition under the National AIDS Commission Act No 11 of 2011.
Section 35 states of the Act that “No person shall disclose any information relating to the result of an HIV Test or any related assessment to any other person except (inter alia) with the written consent of that person…”
Section 19 sub-section 4 of the NAC Act 2011 makes it an offence for anyone to publish false information relating to HIV and AIDS prevention.
The Public is hereby assured of the Secretariat’s commitment in maintaining confidentiality after an HIV test. Meanwhile, the Secretariat encourages all Sierra Leoneans to have confidence in the testing services rendered in all health facilities.