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CVS Sued for Revealing HIV Status of 6,000 Customers

By William Vogeler, Esq. on April 03, 2018 12:51 PM

If you are going to CVS for aspirin, just know the company has a big headache of its own.

According to a new lawsuit, CVS Health mailed 6,000 letters in envelopes that showed the recipients' HIV status on the outside. If you live in Ohio, you might want to double-check your mail.

That's the problem with those window envelopes. You never know what's going to peek through.

Patient Privacy

Three plaintiffs, who are not identified by name, are suing on behalf of anyone whose name appeared on one of the envelopes. One man, of Delaware County, says he "feels that CVS has essentially handed a weapon to anyone who handled the envelope, giving them the opportunity to attack his identity or cause other harm to him."

The proposed class-action alleges the company breached patients' privacy and failed to notify them of the disclosure. In a statement to CNN, CVS said the window envelope was intended to show a reference code and not the recipients' HIV status.

"CVS Health places the highest priority on protecting the privacy of those we serve, and we take our responsibility to safeguard confidential information very seriously," the statement said.

The company claimed that it promptly fixed the problem for future mailings.

HIV Program

According to reports, the patient who received the letters were part of the state's HIV drug assistance program.

The complaint says CVS knew about the disclosure, which occurred last summer, for months.

Fiserve, which was hired to mail the letters, is also named in the lawsuit.

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