09/27/2012 03:28 EDT | Updated 11/27/2012 05:12 EST

Push for improved testing prompts Handbook on HIV testing for patients

VANCOUVER - The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has launched a handbook on human rights when it comes to HIV testing as Vancouver health officials expand testing with an eye to improve treatment.

HIV testing is now routinely offered to all patients admitted to hospital or emergency rooms in an effort to catch new infections earlier.

But the civil rights group says increased testing doesn't mean automatic testing.

Association lawyer Micheal Vonn says in the new world of e-health and electronic records, some patients are concerned about confidentiality and need to be informed of their rights before submitting to the test.

Vancouver Coastal Health says e-health records are secure and respect confidentiality for all test results.

Medical Health Officer Dr. Reka (RAY-ka) Gustafson says patients need to be informed, but statistics show the lengthy approval process advocated by the BCCLA is actually a barrier to people getting tested.