HIV/AIDS Guidelines

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. 

  1. University students diagnosed as HIV positive or as having AIDS, whether they are symptomatic or not, should be allowed regular classroom attendance in an unrestricted manner as long as they are physically able to attend class.
  2. There is no medical justification for restricting the access of students with AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test to the Coates Center, theaters, Mabee Hall, the swimming pools, recreational facilities, or other common areas.
  3. The following information form the public health service should be emphasized in education programs: 
    1. Even though they be asymptomatic, persons with confirmed positive HIV antibody test may transmit infection to others through anal or vaginal sexual intercourse, the sharing of needles, and possibly, exposure to others through oral-genital or intimate kissing.
    2. The efficacy of condoms in preventing infection with HIV is unproven, but the consistent use of them may reduce transmission.
    3. Toothbrushes, razors, and other implements that may become contaminated with blood should not be shared.
    4. Persons with AIDS, or who are HIV positive, should not donate blood, plasma, other body organs, body tissues, or sperm. We also endorse the request of the American Red Cross that persons who fall into defined risk categories for AIDS not donate or sell blood or plasma.
    5. If persons with confirmed reactive (positive) antibody tests have accidents involving bleeding, contaminated surfaces should be cleaned with sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) freshly diluted 1:10 in water.
    6. When seeking medical, dental or eye care, these persons should advise the practitioner of their positive antibody status so that appropriate evaluation can be undertaken and precautions can be taken to prevent transmission to others
  4. Residence hall staff (both students and employees) should receive education about AIDS. The institution should provide education prior to the arrival of new students.
  5. Consideration of the existence of AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test should not be part of the initial admission decision for those applying to attend the institution.
  6. University officials should not undertake programs of screening newly admitted or current students for antibody to HIV; neither should mandatory screening of employees be implemented. Especially, institutions should not attempt to identify those in high risk groups and require screening only of them.
  7. The University Health Services should be familiar with sources of testing for antibody of HIV and should be able to refer students or employees requesting such testing. Health care providers should understand the capabilities and limitations of the test and should be able to counsel those desiring to be tested or to refer them to counseling sources elsewhere. Testing should only be done where it is confidential or anonymous, where positive results can be confirmed by specific tests, and where both pre- and post-testing counseling are available.
  8. Decisions about residential housing of students who are HIV positive or have AIDS-related illness must be made on a case-by-case basis. Those making such decisions should keep in mind the fact that AIDS is a condition present in an individual, not in buildings. The best currently available medical information does not support the existence of a risk to those sharing residence halls with infected individuals; there may be, however, in some circumstances, reasonable concern for the health of those with HIV or AIDS who might be exposed to certain contagious diseases (e.g., measles or chicken pox) in a close living situation. The director of Health Services, on the attending physician’s advice, may wish to recommend that students with AIDS or who are sero-positive be assigned private rooms in the interest of protecting the health of those students.
  9. Guidelines concerning the handling of confidential medical information about students with AIDS, AIDS-related illness, or a positive HIV antibody test follow the general standards included in the American College Health Association's "Recommended Standards and Practices for a College Health Program." Fourth Edition, 1984:

    ​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.

  10. There is no medical necessity for institutions to advise others living in a residence hall of other students who have AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test. The responsibility to provide a safe living environment is best dealt with by educational programming as discussed earlier in this statement. Similarly, University officials should make no attempt in any other setting to identify those students or employees who have AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test.
  11. University health policy should encourage regular medical follow-up for those who have AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test. Special precautions to protect the health of immunologically compromised individuals should be considered during periods of prevalence of chicken pox, measles and other contagious diseases.
  12. Those who are known to be immunologically compromised should be excused from institutional requirements for certain vaccinations, notably measles and rubella vaccines, as those vaccinations may lead to serious consequences in those with poorly functioning immune systems.
  13. Health Services should use disposable, one-user needles and other equipment whenever such equipment will puncture the skin mucous membranes of patients. Health care officials should not rely on students or employees to identify themselves as having AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test, since many infected persons are unaware of their status. Safety precautions must be used in all cases. All health care providers must practice universal precautions with all patients.
  14. The University should adopt safety guidelines for the handling of blood and body fluids of all students in various settings. Laboratories used in teaching context, such as those required in biology courses, should be safe experiences. Given the fact that the existence and identity of those with AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test may not be known, procedures for the decontamination of environmental surfaces and objects soiled by blood or body fluids should be adopted and implemented. Laboratory courses requiring exposure to blood, such as finger pricks for blood typing or examination, should use disposable equipment and no lancets or blood-letting devices should be re-used or shared. No students should be required to obtain or process blood of others. Contaminated surfaces should be cleaned with household bleach freshly diluted l:10 water.
  15. The University will strictly observe public health reporting requirements for AIDS. Patients who meet criteria for the revised surveillance of AIDS must be reported to the local public health authorities.