Advisory: On the Unauthorised Possession and Disclosure of Information from MOH’s HIV Registry
Singapore, 28 January 2019 – Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) held a press conference to inform the public that the confidential information of 14,200 people living with HIV were leaked. This included 5,400 Singaporeans and 8,800 foreigners (source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/data-of-14200-singapore-patients-with-hiv-leaked-online-by-american-fraudster-who-was). The records of the 5,400 Singaporeans leaked were up to January 2013. The records of the 8,800 Foreigners leaked were up to December 2011.
This is a trying time for people living with HIV in Singapore. For Singaporeans diagnosed after January 2013, there is no need to be concerned until more information is available from MOH. For queries, we urge you to contact the MOH hotline on +65 6325-9220.
Under the Infectious Diseases Act of Singapore, we would like to remind the community that it is an offence to disclose the identity of a person living with HIV except under very specific conditions (see Addendum 1 below). If anyone comes into contact with such information, we urge you to notify the Singapore police immediately at https://eservices.police.gov.sg/homepage.
We hope that even if the identities of people living with HIV are leaked that they are shown the same support and respect we have always given them. People living with HIV are no different from any of us. They are also of no danger to anyone. You cannot get HIV from casual contact such as shaking hands, hugging, sharing food or sharing a toilet.
We hope in this difficult time all Singaporeans can band together to show support for people living with HIV. They are our loved ones, our colleagues, our friends and our families.
Addendum 1: Singapore Infectious Diseases Act
Protection of identity of a person with AIDS, HIV Infection or other sexually transmitted diseases.
25.—(1) Any person who, in the performance or exercise of his functions or duties under this Act, is aware or has reasonable grounds for believing that another person has AIDS or HIV Infection or is suffering from a sexually transmitted disease or is a carrier of that disease shall not disclose any information which may identify the other person except —
(a) with the consent of the other person;
(b) when it is necessary to do so in connection with the administration or execution of anything under this Act;
(ba) when it is necessary to do so in connection with the provision of information to a police officer under section 22 or 424 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010;
[10/2008 wef 10/06/2008]
[15/2010 wef 02/01/2011]
(c) when ordered to do so by a court;
(d) to any medical practitioner or other health staff who is treating or caring for, or counselling, the other person;
[10/2008 wef 10/06/2008]
(e) to any blood, organ, semen or breast milk bank that has received or will receive any blood, organ, semen or breast milk from the other person;
(f) for statistical reports and epidemiological purposes if the information is used in such a way that the identity of the other person is not made known;
(g) to the victim of a sexual assault by the other person;
(h) to the Controller of Immigration for the purposes of the Immigration Act (Cap. 133);
(i) to the next-of-kin of the other person upon the death of such person;
(j) to any person or class of persons to whom, in the opinion of the Director, it is in the public interest that the information be given; or
(k) when authorised by the Minister to publish such information for the purposes of public health or public safety.
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both.