HIV test kit with blood sample

How Much You Can Pay For Disclosing Someone’s HIV Status

How Much You Can Pay For Disclosing Someone's HIV Status
The red ribbon, the universal symbol of HIV & AIDS IMAGE: WHO

Did you know that disclosing someone’s HIV status is punishable by law? You could part with a heavy fine or jail or both. A landmark ruling by the HIV and AIDS Tribunal in Kenya highlighted the consequences sharing of indiscreet information by a third party on digital platforms. The ruling which set a precedence, emphasized the weighty issue of personal privacy and responsible communication.

In 2023, the HIV and AIDS Tribunal ordered a man to pay Kshs 850,000 for exposing another man’s HIV status. There was a heated exchange in a Matungu Whatsapp group as the country was gearing up for the 2022 general elections. The heated political exchange led to the unfortunate disclosure that ended very badly for the victim. The WhatsApp group is comprised of about 170 individuals.

How Much You Can Pay For Disclosing Someone's HIV Status

The aftermath of the ordeal was so distressing for the affected that he had to resort to counseling. The non-consented disclosure leads to discrimination, compounding his already emotional distress. His marital life also suffered a rift.

The HIV Prevention and Control Act prohibits the revelation of any information regarding a person’s HIV status without consent. This applies to hospitals as well.

The plaintiff was also granted a sum of Kshs 3,000 designated as special damages to address the unquantifiable harm against him.

It’s important, however, to disclose your HIV status to your sexual partners. This includes the people that you may have shared injection equipment with. This can help them decide to seek medical attention if needed. If you are afraid or ashamed to tell them yourself, a healthcare professional can help you notify your sexual or needle-sharing partners without even using your name.

Lastly, you need to inform your healthcare provider so you to acquire the needed medication and keep you away from opportunistic diseases.