The medical community has an obligation to protect all patient information, especially those seeking medical services for an already particularly stigmatized diagnosis or condition such as HIV. No patient should fear seeking medical treatment.
Alex and the other patients who took the time to speak with me said that they all requested to be called by their first name only, but that when they were called, their full names were used regardless of their expressed wishes.
We older therapists, digital immigrants -- if not digital refugees -- may cling to the delusion we can hide ourselves from the Web. For the younger generation, digital natives all, there will be no way to erase their footprints.
While it may sound like HIPAA is a small animal at the zoo, it actually stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Privacy is not just about information -- it is also about the physical environment. There are many components to privacy.