Aetna offers emergency financial relief, counseling in HIV privacy breach

At the end of July, Aetna mailed letters to 12,000 people breaching their HIV privacy. The company is offering emergency financial relief and counseling to those who suffered specific harm as a direct result of the mailing.

Given the confidential nature of the program, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania has agreed to assist with the processing of the requests. The Legal Action Center, based in New York City, will assist with processing for New York residents.

This is not a settlement of the class action lawsuit filed in federal court in August by the AIDS Law Project, The Legal Action Center, and the Philadelphia law firm Berger & Montague, P.C.

For assistance from the AIDS Law Project with applying for the Aetna relief program or to join the class action lawsuit, call 215-587-9377 or email aetnaclass@aidslawpa.org.

To contact The Legal Action Center, call 212-243-1313 or email lacinfo@lac.org.

To see Aetna’s announcement of the emergency program, click here.


Federal class action lawsuit: Aetna’s envelope revealed HIV information of 12,000 customers across the country

A 52-year-old Bucks County man, whose sister learned from an unopened large-window envelope that arrived in their mail that he was taking HIV medications, is the lead plaintiff in a federal class action lawsuit against Aetna contending the insurer’s mailing violated the law by revealing HIV information of approximately 12,000 customers in at least 23 states.

The lawsuit, filed August 28, 2017 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, says information about HIV medication was clearly visible through the large window of the Aetna envelope, revealing the highly confidential matter to family, roommates, friends, neighbors, landlords, mail carriers, and even complete strangers. It demands that Aetna cease the practice, reform procedures, and pay damages.

Copy of redacted envelope received by an Aetna customer

Copy of redacted envelope received by an Aetna customer

Click here for more details.

Click here for the complaint.


And for your summer reading pleasure, here’s our latest issue of Good Counsel

Front Cover


All Pain, No Gain: HIV Criminalization in Pennsylvania (May 2017)
All Pain, No Gain: HIV Criminalization in Pennsylvania is a collaborative effort of statewide advocates seeking to reform HIV Criminalization.

All Pain, No Gain: HIV Criminalization in Pennsylvania is a collaborative effort of statewide advocates seeking to reform HIV Criminalization.

HIV Criminalization undercuts important public health initiatives by ignoring actual transmission risk, exacerbating stigma, and devaluing the importance of personal responsibility in HIV prevention. Criminalization makes it more difficult for those who have been diagnosed with HIV to disclose their HIV status to partners or to access and stay in care. In short, it’s all pain and no gain.

Click here for the report.


The AIDS Law Project has been busy protecting people living with HIV in Pennsylvania and South Jersey.   Click here for some recent victories.


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