1. Admission and Employment
Consideration of the existence of AIDS or a positive HIV test will not be part of the initial decision for admission or employment.
2. Compliance with Applicable Anti-Discrimination Laws
It is clear that a person with AIDS or HIV infection itself (possibly, those with other manifestations of HIV infection) will be considered as having a disability; in making decisions, University officers are advised to guarantee the legal rights of these individuals under various federal, state, and local regulations.
Students who have HIV infection, whether they are symptomatic or not, will be allowed regular classroom attendance in an unrestricted manner as long as they are physically and mentally able to attend class.
4. Access to Facilities
The access of students or staff with HIV infections to student unions, theaters, restaurants, snack bars, gymnasiums, swimming pools, saunas, recreational facilities, or other common areas should not be restricted.
5. Residential Housing
The best medical information currently available does not support the existence of a risk to those sharing housing with or around infected persons since HIV is not transmitted by any form of casual or household contact. There is no general justification for excluding infected persons from University housing to protect others from casual transmission.
The individual evaluation of each case should dictate the response by the University and the Community Development staff. The following options to protect healthy individuals, those with AIDS or a positive test for HIV, and the University should be enacted:
Early Identification, Medical Care, and Education: Encourage individuals who are HIV infected to inform the Student Health Center about their condition so arrangements can be made for competent and frequent medical follow-up and detailed education regarding the transmission of the virus and the steps necessary to prevent transmission.
Policies and Procedures: All policies and procedures must conform with applicable federal, state, and local regulations.
Confidentiality: It must be protected. Only those University officials providing direct medical or psychological services to an affected person need to know any information concerning the individual situation.
Public Relations: A single individual will be the designated respondent to public inquiries. Policy should be stated forthrightly and clearly, but he or she should refuse to provide specific information about individuals or residence halls.
6. Medical Care
Students are encouraged to inform the Student Health Center if they are HIV infected to enable the University to provide appropriate medical care, support, counsel, and education. As with other medical information, this information will be handled confidentially subject to the procedures and policies in effect.
The Student Health Center will make referrals to appropriate sources for medical, psychological, and related support services for people with HIV infection and those concerned about AIDS. The Counseling Center and University Ministry and Service also will provide counseling or referral to those infected with HIV and/or those concerned with AIDS.
Special precautions to protect the health of immunologically compromised individuals will be considered during periods of prevalence of such contagious diseases as measles and chicken pox.
Those who are known to be immunologically compromised will be excused from institutional requirements for certain vaccinations, especially measles and rubella vaccines since these vaccinations may lead to serious consequences in those with an altered immune system.
7. HIV Antibody Testing
The Student Health Center staff will be familiar with sources of testing for HIV antibodies and will respond to those requesting such testing. Referrals will be made only to testing sites that are anonymous and confidential, confirm positive results, and provide pre- and post-testing counseling.
The standards of confidentiality at La Salle University regarding people known or suspected to have HIV infection will be those developed by the American College Health Association’s Guidelines for a College Health Program (Sixth Edition, 1999).
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 express written consent of the patient. In addition, no information concerning a patient will be given to any person, group, agency, insurer, employer, or institution without the prior written consent of the patient. This position with respect to records is supported by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Confidential medical information is protected by statutes and any unauthorized disclosure of it may create legal liability. The University, however, is obligated to conform to public health reporting requirements mandated by law.
9. Safety Precautions
The University has adopted the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens guidelines for handling blood and body fluids of all persons, not just those known previously to have HIV infection. These universal precautions are necessary because many people with HIV infection are not identified in advance. The same procedure should be followed for handling the blood or body fluids of any person.
Surfaces contaminated by blood or other body fluids should be disinfected with commercial disinfectant solutions or with household bleach, freshly diluted in a 1:10 solution.
Laboratory courses requiring exposure to blood obtained by a finger prick for typing and examination must use disposable equipment. No lancets or other blood-letting devices should be reused or shared. Students in these laboratories should examine their own blood only. Faculty in these laboratories should develop and supervise specific protocols for rapid disposal of used needles and lancets.
As a result of the fear, anxiety, and anger that many people feel in reactions to AIDS, some students or employees who are known to be or suspected of being infected with HIV may be subjected to emotional and/or physical abuse. Consistent with La Salle University’s respect for the dignity of the individual, all such occurrences will be condemned as intolerable and be responded to quickly and effectively.