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28 Jan, 2019 23:23

US man steals & leaks HIV+ status, personal info & sex partners of 14,200 patients in Singapore

US man steals & leaks HIV+ status, personal info & sex partners of 14,200 patients in Singapore

An HIV-positive US expat now on the run has leaked the HIV-positive status of 14,200 people – plus their contact details and the names of some of their sex partners – from a Singaporean health database.

The US citizen who spent over two years in a Singaporean jail for various crimes – including lying about his own HIV status – has apparently found a way to take revenge against the world. He released 14,200 patient names, HIV test results, phone numbers, addresses, ID numbers, and other medical information – including the names and contact information of 2,400 of their sex partners, the Singaporean Ministry of Health said in a statement.

According to Singapore authorities, Mikhy K Farrera Brochez had obtained the confidential information through his Singaporean partner Ler Teck Siang, a doctor with access to Ministry of Health records. The records were stolen sometime before 2016, but released after Brochez was deported from Singapore. The ministry said they were “progressively contacting the individuals” affected to inform them they had been doxxed.

Brochez was deported from the country in May 2018, after serving a 28-month prison term for “numerous fraud and drug-related offenses,” including lying about his own HIV-positive status to the Ministry of Manpower to obtain an employment pass in 2008. The American used a blood sample from his partner, Doctor Siang, as his own to secure a work permit in 2008. HIV-positive foreigners are prohibited from obtaining employment visas or permanent resident status in Singapore, and until 2016 were barred from the country entirely.

The ministry asked for help from “their foreign counterparts” to track Brochez down, noting he is “currently under police investigation for various offenses.” Siang remains in Singapore, where he is in the process of appealing a 24-month sentence for helping Brochez lie his way into getting employment.

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Singaporean officials assured the public that they had installed additional security measures to protect patients’ health data in 2016, three years after Brochez stole the HIV files. Just last year, however, personal health information of over 1.5 million patients was stolen in the largest-ever hack of Singapore’s public health system – which included the file of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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