Executive Yuan approves draft amendments to HIV/AIDS law

Author: Office of Information Services, Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan)

03 April 2014

The Executive Yuan today approved amendments to the HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act to change policies on medical expense obligations borne by patients and the government, to allow health officials to collect specimen without the patient’s consent under conditions of medical necessity or urgency, and to rescind restrictions on entry, stay and residence by HIV-infected foreigners in Taiwan. The draft revisions will be forwarded to the Legislative Yuan for further action.

Main points of the proposed amendments are as follows:

  1. Competent agencies and medical institutions should strengthen measures for HIV testing and prevention. (Article 6)
  2. Under certain conditions when it is medically necessary and urgent to assess whether to administer preventive medication or begin treatment on a patient, medical institutions need not obtain consent from the patient or their legal representative before collecting specimen for HIV testing. (Article 15-1)
  3. Considering that more countries are reclassifying HIV/AIDS as a chronic illness, the patient’s financial obligations and the government’s support for their medical treatment expenses will be adjusted. This amendment is also intended to ensure that treatments are consistent with the severity of illness. (Articles 6 and 16)
  4. In line with international human rights trends, provisions that place restrictions on the entry, stay and residence of HIV-infected foreign nationals in Taiwan will be deleted. (Delete Articles 18 through 20)
  5. Provisions on punishing infected individuals refusing medical examinations or treatment will be deleted. Penalty amounts for medical personnel who detect infection cases but do not report accordingly will also be adjusted. (Article 23)