These guidelines were accepted by the Board of Trustees upon recommendations by the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees in February 1987 and generally reflect guidelines established by the American College Health Association.
In general it is recommended that no specific or detailed information concerning complaints or diagnosis be provided to faculty, administrators, or even parents, without the expressed written permission of the patient in each case. This position with respect to health records is supported by amendment to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
Certainly no person, group, agency, insurer, employer, or institution should be provided any medical information without the prior specific written consent of the patient. Given the possibility of unintended or accidental compromise of the confidentiality of information, health services physicians should carefully weigh the importance of including any specific information regarding the existence of AIDS, AIDS- related illness, or a positive HIV antibody test in the medical record except in circumstances of medical necessity created by the evaluation of an ill ness. The inclusion of any such information in the medical record should be discussed with the patient prior to its entry.
Health officials and other institutional officers must remember that all confidential medical information is protected by statutes and that any unauthorized disclosure of it may create legal liability.
The duty of physicians and other health care providers to protect the confidentiality of information is superseded by the necessity to protect other only in very specific, threatening circumstances. The number of people in the institution who are aware of the existence and/or identity of student or employees who have AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test should be kept to an absolute minimum to avoid the generation of unnecessary fear and anxiety among other students and staff.