One of Britain’s leading sexual health clinics has reportedly apologised and launched an investigation after mistakenly sending out an email newsletter in which it revealed the HIV positive status of nearly 800 patients.
According to the Guardian the 56 Dean Street Clinic In London disclosed the names and email address of some 780 HIV patients on Tuesday.
The newspaper reported that the clinic, run by the Chelsea and Westminster NHS trust, apologised shortly afterwards and on Wednesday launched an investigation into how the mistake occurred.
The Guardian suggested the privacy breach could be one of the biggest of its kind and that Britain's data protection watchdog would likely investigate it.
It quoted Elliot Herman, 38, from London, as saying the email contained the names of friends who had never disclosed their HIV status to him before.
Someone at @56deanstreet’s in big trouble today - they sent an email newsletter to their HIV+ patients, but forgot to hide recipient list 😱— elliot herman (@els76uk) September 1, 2015
He said: “If my details were on that list I would feel angry and disappointed at the clinic for having such a shit system that this can happen.”
The Huffington Post UK has not yet been able to reach the Chelsea and Westminster NHS trust but according to ITV they have released a statement saying: "We can confirm that due to an administrative error, a newsletter about services at 56 Dean Street was sent to an email group rather than individual recipients.
"We have immediately contacted all the email recipients to inform them of the error and apologise."
The clinic said concerned patients can call 020 3315 9555 and 020 3315 9594, both of which are open until 6pm.