Information to At-Risk Employees Regarding Infectious Diseases

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Where there has been a potential exposure to an infectious disease in a correctional facility, the institution is required to inform affected employees, contract employees and visitors. When an incident occurs that may have resulted in exposure to disease, the institution must test the inmate, with or without his or her consent, to determine if the inmate is infected with a blood-borne pathogen such as hepatitis B or HIV. The institution is required to disclose the results of the test to each employee, law enforcement officer or visitor who reasonably believes he or she was potentially exposed to a life-threatening disease or pathogen. However, confidential medical information is not to be released to the general public. T.C.A. § 41-51-102.

Similar provisions in T.C.A. § 39-13-112 apply in cases where a law enforcement officer, firefighter, correctional officer, youth services officer, probation and parole officer, employee of the Department of Correction or Department of Children's Services, emergency medical or rescue worker, EMT, or paramedic is the victim of an aggravated assault and comes into actual contact with blood or other body fluid of the arrestee. When that occurs, upon the request of the victim, the arrestee shall undergo HIV testing immediately. The test shall be performed by a licensed medical laboratory at the expense of the arrestee. Test results are not a public record and are available to only the victim and certain other people listed in the statute. If the arrestee is infected with HIV, that person shall be liable for the victim's medical bills and other expenses related to the victims exposure to HIV upon a finding that such exposure was from the arrestee.