Clear envelope window reveals patients’ HIV status

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Two legal organizations say health insurer Aetna revealed the HIV status of patients in several states by mailing envelopes with a large, clear window that showed information on purchasing HIV prescriptions.

The Legal Action Center and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania say some patients’ family members and neighbors learned of their HIV status as a result of information viewable on the envelope.

Aetna says “this type of mistake is unacceptable” and the company is making a review of processes to ensure it never happens again.

Aetna started notifying customers of the breach in letters sent out this week.

The legal organizations sent a cease and desist letter to Aetna. They want the insurer to show what corrective measures are being taken.

Patients were in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.