The Begin Project provides support and advocacy for people living with or affected by HIV in the Wakefield District.
Information given to any Yorkshire MESMAC worker (including Begin workers) is confidential. This means that we will not give out details that identify you to anyone outside Yorkshire MESMAC unless:
- You have agreed for us to do so, for instance as part of helping you to gain support or services from other people or organisations.
- There is a serious and urgent danger to you or anyone else. If you are a young person under 18 or a vulnerable adult, this may include protection from self-harm or abuse.
Anyone taking part in activities that risk transmission of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections should take into account that many people either do not know or do not accurately disclose their HIV or other sexual health status. Everyone should take full and equal responsibility for the risks they are prepared to take.
This includes the risk that people may be lying about their HIV or other sexual health status.
Any information you give a Yorkshire MESMAC worker about your HIV or other sexual health status will be treated with the same degree of confidentiality as any other information you give us. Exceptions to this would include situations already covered above. People who fail to accurately disclose their HIV and other sexual health status when taking part in any activity involving risk to other people should also bear in mind that they may be liable for prosecution if they infect other people. Yorkshire MESMAC and Begin believe that criminalising HIV transmission leads to an increase in HIV stigma, non-disclosure and people not testing for HIV. For those reasons we are against the criminalisation of HIV transmission.
If we ever need to take action to protect you or other people we will always try to discuss this with you and gain your permission first. If this is not possible, we will restrict any information given to the minimum needed to avert the immediate danger. In very rare cases, the police or courts may demand that we give information.
Yorkshire MESMAC only keep minimal written records. However, you have a right to ask us if records about you exist and if they do, you have a right to see them if you wish to do so.
If anything in this statement is not clear, please ask any Yorkshire MESMAC worker to explain it to you.
Yorkshire MESMAC and Begin believe that criminalising HIV transmission leads to an increase in HIV stigma, non-disclosure and people not testing for HIV. For those reasons we are against the criminalisation of HIV transmission.