HIV/AIDS Case Reporting
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.
Reporting HIV/AIDS as a Healthcare Provider
According to Georgia's law notifiable disease reporting, healthcare facilities providing HIV/AIDS care and testing should report any new patients to their facility (including referrals), any current/previous 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.
Report Online Through SENDSS:
Adult (>13 years of age) cases can be reported electronically through the secure disease reporting system called SENDSS (State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System) using an electronic Adult Case Report Form (eACRF). In order to use this 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 at this link from the SENDSS homepage. Please review the eACRF Tutorial for guidance on how to fill out the eACRF. Please note that pediatric cases cannot be reported through SendSS.
Report By Mail:
Georgia Division of Public Health, Epi Section
P.O. Box 2107
Atlanta, GA 30301
(Please Do NOT Write HIV or AIDS on Envelope)
Report By Phone:
Providers who only have a few cases to report can call the HIV Epidemiology Section at 1-800-827-9769
Reporting HIV/AIDS as a Laboratory
According to Georgia's notifiable disease reporting law, all tests indicative of HIV infection are reportable. Reports should be made within seven (7) days. These include:
- Antigen/Antibody combination immunoassays (e.g. HIV-1/2 Ab/Ag Combo 4th Gen, BioPlex 5th Gen)
- HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation assays
- Western Blots
- HIV nucleic acid tests
- Viral Loads - detectable and undetectable
- CD4 counts and percents
- Negative HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation assays (e.g. Multispot, Geenius) are also reportable when they are part of a testing sequence that ultimately identifies a confirmed HIV infection (acute infection).
- Qualitative RNA Tests for HIV exposed babies.
Reporting Lab Tests Through Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR)
Georgia HIV/AIDS 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 Project Coordinator, Lauren.Barrineau-Vejjajiva@dph.ga.gov or 404-657-3753. 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 404-657-6646.
To create a SENDSS authorized user account please request an account on the SENDSS homepage or use this link.. For assistance with an existing account or followup on a new user account request, please email SENDSS Support at Sendss.Support@dph.ga.gov .
Reporting Lab Tests by Mail (only for low volume reporting)
Reporting by mail is the second option. Please do NOT write HIV or AIDS on the envelope. Results must be double enveloped and addressed to:
Why report HIV/AIDS?
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.
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.
HIV/AIDS 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.
Page last updated 02/26/2020