Confidentiality and Human Rights

Public Health Law Article 27-F, effective February 1, 1989, provides protection from inappropriate disclosure of HIV-related information about HIV-positive/affected New Yorkers.  The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) in the AIDS Institute has statewide responsibility for oversight and enforcement of Article 27-F.

The SIU receives, processes, and directly investigates alleged violations of Article 27-F that occur in unregulated entities, such as Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and some Community Service Providers (CSPs), and by physicians in private practice.  Complaint reports regarding alleged violations in licensed health care facilities, such as hospital and long-term care facilities, are referred to the appropriate bureau within the department for investigation under applicable regulations, with consultation provided by the SIU as needed.  Complaint reports regarding alleged violations in other health and social service agencies that fall under Article 27-F, such as the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the Office of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation (OMRDD), are referred to the respective oversight agencies for investigation under the applicable regulations.

The SIU works with the New York State Division of Human Rights to resolve cases in which disclosure of HIV-related information resulted in discrimination.

The AIDS Institute's Special Investigation Unit also provides technical assistance to providers as well as referrals for confidentiality training.  To date, the Unit has processed over 950 complaints of alleged violations of Article 27-F.  This information is reviewed to monitor trends, frequency, and outcomes.

For additional information about the Special Investigation Unit or to file a complaint:


William D. Karchner
Director, Special Investigation Unit
Office of Planning and Community Affairs
Executive Office
(518) 473-2300