AIDS

Purpose

The purpose of the policy on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is to address the issue of AIDS and to establish guidelines for responding to AIDS within the campus community. The University acknowledges its responsibility to promote a safe, healthy, and supportive campus community. AIDS has become a global health issue; the University addresses related campus issues in this policy statement.

Background

AIDS is a chronic progressive condition that compromises the immune system of the body leaving it susceptible to certain opportunistic infections and cancers that rarely threaten the healthy immune system. AIDS is generally a fatal disease. Since its onset in the United States, AIDS has become a public health priority. The number of AIDS-related cases has increased dramatically over the past few years. In addition, officials report that many others have been infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). These HIV-positive people can transmit the virus, although they appear healthy and may be unaware of their infection.

General Policy

1. A University Committee on AIDS has been established. The committee represents the campus community and addresses relevant medical, psychosocial, legal/ethical, and administrative issues.

2. The University endorses the position of the American College Health Association that the primary responses of colleges and universities to AIDS should be educational. These services are coordinated with established mental/health personal/community health programs sponsored by the University Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Residence Halls, Human Resources, Center for Students with DisABILITIES, and other organizations.

3. Any student, faculty, staff, or administrator with a transmissible disease, including those testing HIV-positive, has an obligation to protect the welfare of others and to attempt to prevent the spread of the infection.

4. The University's commitment to nondiscrimination applies to students, faculty, staff, and administrators identified as HIV-positive or as having an AIDS diagnosis.

5. As specific AIDS-related medical problems arise, they will be addressed on a case-by-case basis following current guidelines of the American College Health Association, the Centers for Disease Control, and the laws of the state of Texas. The University is committed to fulfilling the letter and spirit of the law as stated in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Services Act, Senate Bill 959.

6. Information concerning AIDS-related issues relative to any member of the campus community will be handled in a sensitive manner to protect confidentiality and to prevent the misuse of such information.

7. Any person who, in the conduct of University-related business, handles blood, body fluids, and/or body tissues will follow the guidelines set forth in The Policy and Procedure for Safely Handling Blood, Body Fluids and Body Tissues.

Guidelines

1. AIDS educational literature is available at various locations including the University Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services and Human Resources. These materials are distributed at student orientation. All references mentioned in this document will be made available in the reserve section of the M.D. Anderson Library.

2. A copy of the American College Health Association report, AIDS on the College Campus, will be made available in the reference section of the M.D. Anderson Library.

3. The University will not require HIV testing of either employees or students. Voluntary testing for HIV is performed following the guidelines of the American College Health Association.

4. If an employee or student has HIV-related concerns, that individual may consult the University Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), or any other knowledgeable counselor, physician or administrator for appropriate referral or intervention. Educational programs and counseling programs will be provided on campus and/or appropriate referrals will be made to community agencies as necessary.