Wed | Nov 14, 2018

AIDS support group clears the air, wants no recording of sex data

Published:Thursday | April 5, 2018 | 7:15 PM
Lalor ... What JASL asked for is a more deliberate effort in the wording of the Act to protect people’s health information, sexual orientation and HIV status.

The Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) says it does not want the sexual orientation, activity or behaviours of its clients to be collected under the Data Protection Act 2017.

A joint select committee of Parliament is now reviewing the provisions of the Act.

Citing a Gleaner Article of March 28, 2018 titled 'AIDS Support Group Wants Data Protection Act to Record People’s Sexual Orientation,' policy and advocacy officer at JASL Patrick Lalor, said the impression was given that JASL is asking for the collection and recording of an individual’s sexual orientation, among other sensitive and confidential health-related information.

"What JASL asked for is a more deliberate effort in the wording of the Act to protect people’s health information, sexual orientation and HIV status,” Lalor said.

“Essentially, our position, as stated in our submission, is for legislation to 'protect' and not 'record'," he said.

Lalor explains that some people, by virtue of their health conditions, may choose to reveal their sexual information to medical personnel.

He said in those cases, the AIDS support group wants to ensure that the Act protects the confidentiality of the data.

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