This FAQ answers some questions you may have about privacy, hepatitis C infection and the law.As a general rule, people have a right to keep their health information private, including information about their hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection or disease.If you do not answer questions truthfully—for example, if a person does not report the he or she has the hepatitis C virus—and the insurance company finds out, the insurance policy will be void and the insurance company may claim that fraud was committed.Not all insurance policies require that you provide medical information in order to become insured.However, people are encouraged to think about the benefits of disclosing to healthcare staff.For example, it may be important for the healthcare provider to know about the hepatitis C infection in order to provide high-quality healthcare that will take into account the existing liver disease.
But blood and items that come in contact with blood may be infectious to other people.There are rules in place to protect the privacy of personal information stored by Public Health.For the rules in your region, contact your local Public Health office.(See below for information about “Sharing drugs and drug equipment” and “Having sex.”) Because HCV is not transmitted through casual day-to-day contact, employees do not have to disclose to employers or unions that they have hepatitis C.
Employers cannot ask about a hepatitis C infection during the application or interview process.
Employers and unions cannot fire or treat a person negatively because he or she is infected with HCV or needs some time off because of symptoms of hepatitis C or side effects of hepatitis C treatment.