Guide to Australian HIV Laws and Policies for Healthcare Professionals

Notes on information contained in this guide

This resource aims to provide health care workers with information on legal and ethical responsibilities under various laws and regulations related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It does not contain legal advice. Those seeking advice on individual cases should contact their health department, solicitor or their medical defence organisation as appropriate.

In the interests of brevity, laws have been summarised and re-written specifically as they relate to HIV. In many instances key legislation is more broadly targeted at a range of infectious diseases (with definitions varying by state) variously referred to as ‘notifiable conditions’ (Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia), ‘scheduled medical conditions’ (New South Wales), ‘notifiable diseases’ (Northern Territory, Tasmania), ‘transmissible notifiable conditions’, ‘infectious diseases’ (Victoria), and ‘notifiable infectious diseases’ (Western Australia). It is important to note that in terms of public policy, the targeted writing process means some important nuances are lost, particularly the point that often HIV is only one of many identified diseases targeted by law and is not necessarily more vigorously or inappropriately targeted.

All efforts have been made to ensure the content is current at time of publication.

Editor for 2019 update:

Michael Frommer

Original Author:
Sally Cameron 

Editorial Advisory Group

David Puls, John Godwin, Sally Cameron, Mark Bebbington

Julie Hamblin, Anna McNulty, Anne Mijch, Louise Owen, Sven Strecker, Melissa Woodroffe, Lynne Wray


The Guide to Australian HIV Laws and Policies for Healthcare Professionals is administered by ASHM

Sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Health