Institutional Response to HIV/AIDS
Effective Date Aug 1, 2009
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a serious medical and social problem that has reached epidemic proportions and is a disease that can affect any individual or group. The blood, semen or vaginal fluids of an infected person entering the bloodstream of another individual transmit this life-threatening disease, caused by a virus.
AIDS cannot be contracted by being in the presence of a person with AIDS. In almost all cases, it appears to be spread sexually or via the blood. Sharing of toothbrushes, razors, any type of needles, combs or other materials that could be contaminated with someone else’s blood is very strongly discouraged. It is prudent for any individual who is engaged in high-risk behaviors or is part of a high-risk group to avail themselves of the screening test available.
The university recognizes that its primary response to the epidemic of AIDS must be education because responsibility based on information and awareness is the most effective means of prevention and reduction of high-risk behavior. The institution will make efforts to educate students and staff about the nature, causes, transmission and symptoms of the disease.
The following guidelines clarify Florida Tech’s institutional response to HIV infection and AIDS:
- Current medical knowledge indicates that students or employees with AIDS or HIV infections do not pose a health risk to other students or employees in an academic or residential setting.
- In the event that a student or employee is diagnosed as having AIDS or HIV infections, decisions regarding classroom attendance, housing and continuation of work will be made on an individual, case-by-case basis. The university will rely on available medical advice and will guarantee that the response to individuals with HIV/AIDS will be consistent with the response to others with serious diseases or handicapping conditions.
- Information concerning the existence and identity of students or employees with HIV infection or AIDS will be kept strictly confidential and will not be shared with faculty, staff or family, without written permission of the infected person. Members of the university who have access to such information will be kept to a minimum and limited to those with a legitimate “need to know.”
- The university will provide educational materials on HIV/AIDS to students, offer emotional support to students who have HIV, AIDS or are suspected of having AIDS and make available information on referrals for counseling, testing and treatment.
- If a student requests to be tested for HIV, the student will be given information on the agencies that provide the legally required pre- and post-counseling.