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CHAPTER SIX: 6440

OTHER GENERAL INSTITUTIONAL POLICIES

June 2009


6440

PERSONS WITH ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS)

PREAMBLE: This section outlines the university's policy towards AIDS. This section was revised in February 2007 to reflect current information. Unless otherwise noted, the text is as of July 1996. More information may be obtained from Administrative Operations (208-885-7177) or the Student Health Center (208-885-6693) [See also 3210 and 6420.] [ed. 7-00, 6-09]

CONTENTS:

A. Introduction

B. Objectives

C. Policies

D. Procedures

A. INTRODUCTION.

    A-1. AIDS [acquired immune deficiency syndrome] is a serious public health problem. Although information about AIDS is incomplete, authoritative medical opinion holds that it is not readily communicable through casual contact and that it does not constitute an unmanageable health risk in a normal academic or employment setting. Conducting effective AIDS education programs is thought to be the best way for colleges and universities to provide a safe and healthful environment. [rev. 2-07]

    A-2. Recognized health organizations have urged institutions not to adopt rigid policies concerning persons with AIDS or AIDS-related conditions. Instead, they have suggested adopting guidelines for responding to each case as appropriate.

    A-3. Accordingly, the following objectives, policies, and procedures--consistent with UI's mission--have regents' approval as guidelines for responding to genuine health concerns.

B. OBJECTIVES. The objectives of this policy are to:

    B-1. Recognize that AIDS is a serious public health problem that requires UI's attention and the commitment of expertise and resources.

    B-2. Provide for a consistent approach that is appropriate to UI's mission and in line with authoritative medical opinion.

    B-3. Provide a positive context for educating all segments of the UI community about AIDS.

    B-4. Guarantee that the treatment of persons exposed to AIDS is medically sound, fair, and, most important, humane.

C. POLICIES.

    C-1. Because AIDS does not pose an unmanageable health risk in a normal academic or employment setting, members of the UI community infected with the virus, including faculty and staff members, students, and visitors, have free and normal access to UI activities, programs, and services unless medical authorities deem otherwise to protect either the affected person(s) or the public [see D-3]. [ed. 2-07]

    C-2. Each case is handled objectively, but with sensitivity, and decisions are based on the most up-to-date medical and health information available.

    C-3. UI personnel take great care to comply with laws protecting the identities of persons infected with this disease.

    C-4. The university promotes an awareness of how AIDS is transmitted so that members of the academic community can learn to curb its spread.

D. PROCEDURES.

    D-1. In accordance with its functions--teaching, research, and service--UI personnel and resources are made readily available to minimize the spread of this disease. The educational program includes the most current and accurate information about AIDS. [ren. 2-07]

    D-2. University officials will not routinely ask students to respond to personal questions about the existence of HIV infection. However, students with HIV infection, like students with any other immune system disorder, are encouraged and expected to so inform the director of student health in order to enable the institution to provide them with proper medical care, support, counseling, and education. Like any other medical information, this will be handled in a strictly confidential manner. [ed. 7-00, ren. 2-07]

    D-3. Although not under obligation to disclose existence of HIV infection to institutional officials, persons with HIV virus are expected to understand the mechanisms whereby the virus may be transmitted and to avoid activities which may infect others. Idaho Code 39-608 provides penalties for knowingly engaging in activities which have a high probability of transmitting infection. [ren. 2-07]

    D-4. All federal, state, and UI requirements relating to individual privacy and the confidentiality of records are strictly adhered to in the case of a student or employee infected by the AIDS virus. Violations of the foregoing may be cause for disciplinary action. In addition, as recommended by the American College Health Association, student health care providers carefully weigh whether they should include information about the existence of AIDS, ARC [aids-related complex], or a positive HTLV-III antibody test in a medical record except as necessary to evaluate an illness or by the prior consent of the patient. [ren. 2-07]

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