HIV positive - rights and responsibilities

According to Norwegian legislation, people with HIV infection are entitled to free medical care for everything related to HIV infection.

People with HIV are entitled to an interpreter when attending a check-up consultation.
Foto: Johnér Bildbyrå AB

​The right to treatment and follow-up According to the Infectious Disease Control Act, HIV Infection is defined as an infectious disease of special importance for public health. This means that people who are HIV positive have some special rights and responsibilities. People with HIV infection are entitled to free essential treatment for HIV infection and assistance to avoid transmitting infection. Treatment includes doctor consultations, tests and medicines.

This right applies to everyone residing in Norway, including tourists and people without legal residence in Norway.

People with HIV infection are entitled to reimbursement from the Social Security Insurance Scheme for preventive dental treatment according to government rates. The dentist decides if you are entitled to recover your costs.

People with HIV infection are entitled to free psychological help to come to terms with their HIV diagnosis. A referral from a doctor is necessary, but the benefit is payable for up to three consultations without a referral.

Treatment must be approved by a specialist in clinical psychology with a contract for operating subsidies from the regional health authority.

Right to an interpreter

​People who do not speak Norwegian are entitled to an interpreter when attending a check-up or other consultations for HIV. The hospital or municipality will pay for this service.

Right to free condoms

​All HIV positive people can get free condoms. These can be ordered anonymously through your doctor or other health personnel. HIV positive people can also order free condoms from HIV-Norway (www.HIVNorway.no) or Gay and Lesbian Health (www.helseutvalget.no)

​Right to reimbursement of travel costs

HIV positive people who have travel costs associated with visits to the doctor or hospital for treatment or check up for HIV are entitled to have these costs covered without paying the minimal charge.

Right to general health assistance

​The Patient Rights Act ensures that everyone living or staying in Norway has the right to full and equal access to good quality care. The Act explains the various rights they have as a patient, including the right to freely choose a public hospital, the right to patient participation, the right to a dedicated doctor responsible for an individual plan and the right of access to their own records. Upon request, everyone has the right to be given a copy of their medical record.

Complaints

​You can complain if you, as a person with HIV infection, believe that your patient or other rights have not been complied with. You can get help from the Patient Ombudsman (www.pasientombudet.no) or HIVNorway (www.HIVNorway.no) if you wish to complain.

Responsibilities as a HIV positive person

​HIV is defined by the Infectious Disease Control Act as an infectious disease of special importance for public health. Some responsibilities are imposed by law for a person who has reason to believe that he or she is infected with an infectious disease of special importance for public health. The most important for those who are found HIV positive are:

  • Give necessary information about who may have infected you and who you may have infected.

  • Receive personal infectious disease guidance from the doctor to avoid transmitting the disease to others.

Duty to not infect others

Criminal law contains a provision (§ 155) that makes it an offence for people with a serious communicable disease (including HIV) to infect or expose others to risk of infection. This has been criticised for being unclear in many areas. Work is ongoing to revise this provision in criminal law. You can get more detailed information about your rights and responsibilities as a HIV positive person by contacting HIVNorway (www.HIVNorway.no).

Notification to the health authorities

Health personnel are obliged to notify the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Municipal Medical Officer about infectious diseases. Notification about HIV infection does not include a name, only information about gender, birth year and birth month, transmission route and place of infection. This information is important to follow the epidemic. According to the regulations, AIDS must be notified to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Municipal Medical Officer with name and date of birth.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is responsible for sending regular information about the HIV situation in Norway to the European Centre for Disease Control in Stockholm. This is not personally identifiable information.