Because Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a public health problem that has spread throughout the world and because it is an infectious, life-threatening disease with no cure at this time, it is appropriate to formulate AIDS guidelines for the entire Smith College community. These guidelines are based on recommendations of the American College Health Association, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Public Health Service and the American Council on Education.
Although there is a great deal of medical information about the nature and transmission of AIDS, the college recognizes that AIDS raises complex medical, educational and social issues. These guidelines are consistent with the existing Smith College policies which prohibit discrimination against those with special needs while promoting the safety and well-being of the college community. The guidelines are also intended to educate the community in order to protect individuals from unfounded fears and discrimination.
These guidelines are designed to steer decision making and programs about AIDS on campus and to enable the college to address, analyze and resolve matters on a case-by-case basis. The college may amend these guidelines as new information becomes available.
An ad hoc committee, representing a broad spectrum of the college community, will be appointed by the president to consider any campus issue or controversy regarding AIDS and to make recommendations regarding relevant college policy to the College Council on Community Policy. Any member of the community may bring AIDS-related issues to the committee for its consideration. These issues will be dealt with confidentially.
Individuals infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-infected individuals) include those who have AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test. Current epidemiological data indicate that the AIDS virus is not spread by casual person-to-person contact and that students or employees with AIDS or a positive HIV antibody test do not pose a health risk to other students and employees in an academic setting. Current studies from the Centers for Disease Control show that there has been:
The virus that causes AIDS is transmitted through infected blood, blood products, body fluids, semen and vaginal secretions, primarily through intimate sexual contact and the sharing of contaminated hypodermic needles. It is also spread from infected mothers to unborn children.
Smith College supports the ongoing, comprehensive education of the Smith College community about the transmission and prevention of AIDS, high-risk behavior and the importance of confidentiality.
These guidelines are designed for the entire Smith College community, which includes the faculty, staff and students (“members of the Smith College community”).
- Existence of HIV infection will not preclude admission to the college.
- Existence of HIV infection will not preclude the hiring or advancement of an individual. Smith College will not attempt to identify those in high-risk groups or require screening of such persons or of any other individuals.
- Individuals who make it known that they are HIV-infected:
- will not be prevented from attending classes or working, as long as they are able to do so without jeopardizing the health of others, and
- will not be prevented from using any campus facilities or participating in all phases of college life, as long as they are able to do so without jeopardizing the health of others.
- Should a situation of potential danger come to the attention of the AIDS committee, the committee shall act, according to its best judgment, to protect the community and all of the individuals involved.
- The Health Services, in its daily operations, will endeavor to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, particularly as these pertain to the collection and handling of blood or body fluids specimens.
- Confidential HIV testing is available through Health Services.
- Information in the medical record concerning an HIV-infected individual will be kept confidential, as is all information in the medical record. Specifically, release of any information from the record to those other than Smith College health care providers requires written consent of the patient.
- Information about HIV-infected individuals will not be recorded in the educational record of a student or in the personnel file of an employee.
- Smith College observes the public health requirements for reporting AIDS as it does for other reportable diseases.
- In general, all requests for information from outside the college (media, parents, etc.) should be referred to the Office of College Relations.
November 1987 (revised February 1999)
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