Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-6.3
Prevention and Suppression of Contagious Diseases – HIV/AIDS

SECTION 23-6.3-2

§ 23-6.3-2. Definitions.

As used in this chapter the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Agent" means a person empowered by the patient to assert or waive the confidentiality, or to disclose or consent to the disclosure of confidential information, as established by chapter 5-37.3 of the general laws of Rhode Island, as amended, entitled "Confidentiality of Health Care Communications and Information Act."

(2) "AIDS" means the medical condition known as acquired immune deficiency syndrome, caused by infection of an individual by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

(3) "Anonymous HIV testing" means an HIV test that utilizes a laboratory generated code based system, which does not require an individual's name or other identifying information that may reveal one's identity, including information related to the individual's health insurance policy, to be associated with the test.

(4) "Antibody" means a protein produced by the body in response to specific foreign substances such as bacteria or viruses.

(5) "Community-based organization" means an entity that has written authorization from the department for HIV counseling, testing and referral services (HIV CTRS).

(6) "Confidential HIV testing" means an HIV test that requires the individual's name and other identifying information including information related to the individual's health insurance policy, as appropriate.

(7) "Consent" means an explicit exchange of information between a person and a health care provider or qualified professional HIV test counselor through which an informed individual can choose whether to undergo HIV testing or decline to do so. Elements of consent shall include providing each individual with verbal or written information regarding an explanation of HIV infection, a description of interventions that can reduce HIV transmission, the meanings of positive and negative test results, the voluntary nature of the HIV testing, an opportunity to ask questions and to decline testing.

(8) "Controlled substance" means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in schedules I-V listed in the provisions of chapter 21-28 entitled, "Uniform Controlled Substances Act".

(9) "Department" means the Rhode Island department of health.

(10) "Diagnosis of AIDS" means the most current surveillance case definition for AIDS published in the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

(11) "Diagnosis of HIV" means the most current surveillance case definition for HIV infection published in the CDC's (MMWR).

(12) "Director" means the director of the Rhode Island department of health.

(13) "ELISA result" means enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or EIA (enzyme immunoassay) which is a serologic technique used in immunology to detect the presence of either antibody or antigen.

(14) "Health benefits" include accident and sickness, including disability or health insurance, health benefit plans and/or policies, hospital, health, or medical service plans, or any health maintenance organization plan pursuant to title 27 or otherwise.

(15) "Health care facility" means those facilities licensed by the department in accordance with the provisions of chapter 23-17.

(16) "Health care provider", as used herein, means a licensed physician, physician assistant, certified nurse practitioner or midwife.

(17) "Health care settings" means venues offering clinical STD services including, but not limited to, hospitals, urgent care clinics, STD clinics and other substance abuse treatment facilities, mental health treatment facilities, community health centers, primary care and OB/GYN physician offices, and family planning providers.

(18) "HIV" means the human immunodeficiency virus, the pathogenic organism responsible for HIV infection and/or the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in humans.

(19) "HIV CD4 T-lymphocyte test result" means the results of any currently medically accepted and/or FDA approved test used to count CD4 T-lymphatic cells in the blood of an HIV-infected person.

(20) "HIV counseling" means an interactive process of communication between a person and a health care provider or qualified professional HIV test counselor during which there is an assessment of the person's risks for HIV infection and the provision of counseling to assist the person with behavior changes that can reduce risks for acquiring HIV infection.

(21) "HIV screening" means the conduct of HIV testing among those who do not show signs or symptoms of an HIV infection.

(22) "HIV test" means any currently medically accepted and/or FDA approved test for determining HIV infection in humans.

(23) "Occupational health representative" means a person, within a health care facility, trained to respond to occupational, particularly blood borne, exposures.

(24) "Opts out" means that a person who has been notified that a voluntary HIV test will be performed, has elected to decline or defer testing. Consent to HIV testing is inferred unless the individual declines testing.

(25) "Perinatal case report for HIV" means the information that is provided to the department related to a child aged less than eighteen (18) months born to an HIV-infected mother and the child does not meet the criteria for HIV infection or the criteria for "not infected" with HIV as defined in the most current surveillance case definition for HIV infection published by the CDC.

(26) "Person" means any individual, trust or estate, partnership, corporation (including associations, joint stock companies), limited liability companies, state, or political subdivision or instrumentality of a state.

(27) "Persons at high risk for HIV infection" means persons defined as being high risk in the CDC's most current recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents and pregnant women in health care settings or through authority and responsibilities conferred on the director by law in protecting the public's health.

(28) "Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test" means a common laboratory method of creating copies of specific fragments of DNA or RNA.

(29) "Qualified professional HIV test counselor" means: (i) A physician, physician assistant, certified nurse practitioner, midwife, or nurse licensed to practice in accordance with applicable state law; (ii) A medical student who is actively matriculating in a medical degree program and who performs duties assigned to them by a physician; or (iii) A person who has completed an HIV counseling training program, in accordance with regulations hereunder promulgated.

(30) "Sexually transmitted diseases (STD's)" means those diseases included in § 23-11-1, as amended, entitled "Sexually Transmitted Diseases", and any other sexually transmitted disease that may be required to be reported by the department.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2009, ch. 196, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 289, § 1.)