When should HIV results be reported?
Georgia statute identifies HIV and AIDS as disease of public health importance and requires both health care providers and laboratories to report new cases and subsequent lab tests of HIV and AIDS within 7 days.
Who reports and What is reported?
Reporting as a HIV/AIDS healthcare provider
According to Georgia's law notifiable disease reporting, healthcare facilitites providing HIV/AIDS care and testing should report any new patients to their facility (including referrals and people you may have previously reported), any patient updates (change of address, name, pregnancy status, and or gender), and any new clinical status' (new AIDS status or AIDS defining illnesses) within seven (7) days. An Adult Case Report Form should be filled out for individuals age 13+. Paper ACRFs can be mailed. If a provider only has a few cases to report it can be called in to the HIV/STD Epidemiology Section at 1-800-827-9769. Also, an electronic ACRF (eACRF) is now available, online or . For ages <13, please use the Pediatric Case Report Form and mail it in.
These forms can be completed by a physician, infectious disease practitioner, case worker, or any designated representative of the healthcare facility. Patients should not complete this form.
Reporting as a laboratory
According to Georgia's notifiable disease reporting law, all tests indicative of HIV infection are reportable. These include positive antigen/antibody combination immunoassays, HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation assays, EIAs, Western Blots, HIV nucleic acid tests, detectable and undetectable viral load tests, and all CD4 counts and percent's. Negative HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation assays (e.g. Multispot) are also reportable when they are part of a testing sequence that ultimately identifies a confirmed HIV infection (acute infection). Reports should be made within seven (7) days.
How and Where can results be reported?
An electronic Adult Case Report Form (eACRF) can be transmitted to Georgia's Department of Public Health through the secure disease reporting system called SENDSS (State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System). A user login and password must be assigned. To begin the process, please contact Lauren Barrineau-Vejjajiva, ELR Lab Liaison, at Lauren.Barrineau-Vejjajiva@dph.ga.gov or 404-463-3753.To create a SENDSS authorized user account, or for assistance with an existing account, please contact Angela Alexander, SENDSS Administrator at Angela.Alexander@dph.ga.gov or 404-657-6450.
Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR)
Electronic Lab Results (High Volume)
Core HIV/AIVDS Surveillance prefers to process electronic lab reports. We accept files in the HL7 standard (versions 2.3.1 and 2.5.1). These files can be transmitted to Georgia's Department of Public Health through a secure disease reporting system called SENDSS (State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System). A user login and password must be assigned by our SENDSS Administrator and HL7 assistance can be provided (see below in Related Files for the SENDSS Registration and Login Manual).
To begin the process, please contact Lauren Barrineau-Vejjajiva, ELR Lab Liaison, Lauren.Barrineau-Vejjajiva@dph.ga.gov or 404-463-3753. She will need to know the volume and types of lab results you wish to report. She will then work with the IT team to create your SENDSS account, and if necessary the HL7 connection. This same connection can used to report at notifiable diseases.
For assistance with the HL7 standard for electronic lab reporting please contact Patrick Pitcher, Patrick.Pitcher@dph.ga.gov or 404-463-0410.
To create a SENDSS authorized user account, or for assistance with an existing account, please contact Angela Alexander, SENDSS Administrator, Angela.Alexander@dph.ga.gov or 404-657-6450.
Paper Lab Results (Low Volume)
Snail mail is the second option. Please do NOT write HIV or AIDS on the envelope. Results must be double enveloped and addressed to:
(Please Do NOT Write HIV or AIDS on Envelope)
Why is HIV reported?
All medical providers or other organizations offering confidential HIV testing or providing care to HIV-positive patients should report positive cases to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Laboratories are also required to report tests indicative of HIV infection (O.C.G.A. § 24-9-47, § 31-22-9.2, and Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia Chapter 290-5-48.11).
The HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Section is authorized under Georgia Surveillance Law (O.C.G.A. §31-12-1) to conduct notifiable disease surveillance of HIV and AIDS. Public health surveillance activities are not subject to HIPPA restrictions.
Georgia has a dual reporting system that legally requires HIV/AIDS reporting by both health care providers and laboratories (O.C.G.A. §31-12-2(b)). All health care providers diagnosing and/or providing care to a patient with HIV have the obligation to report them using a CDC or Georgia HIV/AIDS Case Report Form (i.e. Adult Case Report Form/ACRF or Pediatric Case Report Form/PCRF). Case report forms have to be completed within seven (7) days of diagnosing a patient with HIV and/or AIDS or within seven (7) days of assuming care of an HIV positive patient who is new to the provider, regardless of whether the patient has previously received care elsewhere. All laboratories certified and licensed by the State of Georgia are required to report laboratory test results indicative of HIV infection, such as positive Western Blot results, all detectable and undetectable viral loads, all CD4 counts, and all viral nucleotide sequence results.
See below in the Related Files section for ACRFs and PCRFs files.
Confidentiality and HIPAA
All state HIV/AIDS surveillance programs are required to meet security standards set forth by the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Access to confidential information is limited to authorized staff. All employees sign a confidentiality statement with criminal penalties for breaches. Individuals' names are not shared with anyone including federal agencies, immigration, insurance companies, employers, school officials, or family members of the person with HIV.
HIV/AIDS reports to DPH are exempt from HIPAA's privacy rule. The rule states that disclosure of patient health information without the authorization of the individual is permitted for purposes including but not limited to disclosures required by law (45 CFR § 164.512(a)) or for "public health activities and purposes." Additional information on the HIPAA Privacy Rule can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/m2e411a1.htm and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/index.html.
Names and other identifying information are required for all reportable diseases. This method provides the most complete and accurate data by minimizing duplicate reports and facilitating follow-up with health care providers for additional information. Additionally, CDC only accepts data from surveillance systems that utilize names as an identifier.
Anonymous testing is available throughout Georgia at publicly funded HIV Counseling and Testing sites, which include your local health department.
For more information, please click this Security and Confidentiality Brochure link to be directed to the brochure (or see below in Related Files).
Students and Public Health Programs
Please download a Data Request Form (also below in Related Files). Fill out all fields and submit by email to Brian.Huylebroeck@dph.ga.gov or fax (404) 657-4141. We will return your request within two weeks.
Please visit http://dph.georgia.gov/phip-data-request to create a PHIP data request account and login.
Page last updated 01/14/16