When you visit any website, the site’s server may place a small text file, known as a "cookie," on your computer. The cookie allows the website to "remember" specific information about your visit while you are on the site or when you return to that site. The cookie also makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of webpages.
The AIDSinfo website uses session and persistent cookies. Session cookies are temporary and are deleted when you close a Web browser. Persistent cookies are not automatically deleted after you close a Web browser, and they can remain on your computer until they are manually erased or expire. The Office of Management and Budget Memo M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies, allows Federal agencies to use session and persistent cookies.
Types of Information Collected
AIDSinfo stores the following information from visitors to our website:
- the domain name from which you access the Internet (such as google.com);
- your computer's Internet Protocol (IP) address, a number automatically assigned to your computer when you connect to the Internet;
- the date and time you visited our site;
- the name and version of your computer's operating system and browser;
- the webpages you visited;
- the terms you entered into our search engine; and
- the Internet address of the website that connected you to our site.
This information is used to measure the number of visitors to the various sections of our site and to help us make our site more useful to visitors. We do not attempt to associate this information with individual users. Unless it is specifically stated otherwise, no additional information about you will be collected.
How to Opt Out or Disable Cookies
AIDSinfo visitors may opt out of accepting cookies on their Web browsers. Instructions for disabling cookies can be found at the following website: http://www.usa.gov/optout_instructions.shtml. People who disable cookies will still be able to access all sections of the AIDSinfo website.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
If you choose to send us personal information by e-mail or by filling out a form on our website, we use that information to respond to your message and to help provide you with the information or material that you request. We will maintain the information only to respond to your question or to fulfill the stated purpose of the communication. If provided, personally identifiable information (PII) is maintained in a database that is regularly purged every 2 weeks.
We destroy the information we collect when the purpose for which it was provided has been fulfilled, unless we are required to keep it longer by statute or official policy. Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration. In some cases, information submitted to us may become an agency record and therefore might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Third-party contractors may have access to PII in order to provide a response to your question or comment. These contractors are held to strict policies to safeguard the information and provide the same level of privacy protection as guaranteed by AIDSinfo. On occasion, we may conduct a study concerning the types of questions sent to us. These studies involve coding the queries to see if users are having recurring problems in finding information and to identify commonalities. The knowledge gained by these studies is used to improve our website by making it more responsive to the needs of our users. Aggregated data, which is the type of data collected in these studies, cannot be linked back to an individual user.
Third-Party Websites and Applications
Third-party websites and applications (TPWA) are Web-based technologies that are not exclusively operated or controlled by AIDSinfo. They may be hosted on a non-government website or embedded on an AIDSinfo webpage. TPWA technologies may make personally identifiable information (PII) available to AIDSinfo, regardless of whether we request or collect it. We do not give, share, sell, or transfer any personal information to a third party unless required by law.
We use these Web-based technologies, such as Facebook and Twitter, to interact and communicate with you. Your activity on these non-government sites is governed by the security and privacy policies of those sites. When you use them, you are often sharing information with the general public, other users, and/or the group operating that site or application. We recommend you review the privacy policies of these sites before using them to ensure you understand how these third-party sites and applications might use your information. You may be able to adjust the privacy settings on your account.
The following list includes the TWPA we use and their purposes. For any sites or applications that collect PII, this list also includes details on the information they collect and how AIDSinfo protects your private information.
AIDSinfo has a Facebook page where we share information about HIV/AIDS-related news, AIDSinfo news, and other items that may be of interest to you. You do not need to register or provide personal information to view our Facebook page.
If you have a Facebook account and “Like” the AIDSinfo Facebook page, you may post comments or click the “Like” link for individual entries. If you comment or “Like” AIDSinfo Facebook content, PII will be visible to other Facebook visitors, including AIDSinfo staff. The amount of visible PII about you will depend on your own Facebook privacy settings. To avoid displaying your PII, you should not create a Facebook account, post comments, or click on the “Like” options in Facebook.
AIDSinfo uses Twitter to send short messages (up to 140 characters), which are also known as “Tweets,” to share information about HIV/AIDS-related news, AIDSinfo news, and other items that may be of interest to you. We also respond to comments and questions sent via Twitter to AIDSinfo. You do not need to register or provide personal information to view our Twitter feeds. If you want to subscribe to (also known as "Follow") the AIDSinfo Twitter feed, you may create a Twitter account at http://www.twitter.com.
To create an account, you must provide some personal information, such as your name, user name, password, and e-mail address. You have the option to provide additional personal information, including a short biography, location, or picture. Most information you provide for a Twitter account is available to the public, but you can modify how much of your information is visible by changing your privacy settings on the Twitter website.
Go.USA.Gov and Bitly
AIDSinfo relies on Contactual, an independent vendor, to route phone calls to our health information specialists. Contactual collects and processes caller phone numbers on behalf of AIDSinfo. We only use the information to respond to our users’ questions or fulfill requests for our services or products. By choosing to call AIDSinfo, users consent to such use of their phone numbers. AIDSinfo does not disclose, save, or share telephone numbers.
ForeSee Results is a third-party vendor that manages the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for AIDSinfo, which is an online survey that gathers feedback on users’ experiences with our website. This survey does not collect any PII. This is an optional survey that appears in a pop-up box for a random sample of website visitors. If you do not participate in the survey, you will still have access to the identical information and resources on the AIDSinfo website as those who do take the survey. Answers to the survey help us improve our website by making the site easier to use and more responsive to the needs of visitors. AIDSinfo staff analyze and report on the aggregated data from the ACSI survey. The reports are available only to AIDSinfo website managers, members of their teams, and other designated staff who need this information to perform their duties. Aggregated data cannot be linked back to an individual user.
AIDSinfo uses the Lyris ListManager to manage e-mail subscriptions to its electronic newsletters: At-a-Glance and al instante. To subscribe to our electronic newsletter(s), you must provide some personal information, such as your name and e-mail address. The e-mail subscriber lists are password protected in a Lyris database. This information is password protected and available only to AIDSinfo staff who require this information to perform their duties. To avoid sharing PII, you should not subscribe to the electronic newsletters.
AIDSinfo will update this policy as our privacy regulations change. Please refer to this page for the latest privacy information as it applies to the AIDSinfo website.
Please write to AIDSinfo at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Updated: February 2012