AIDS Policy for Students
The online Student Handbook is produced as a resource for the
students, faculty, staff, and administration of Dickinson College. Content
is subject to change. Please contact the appropriate person or office to obtain
the most current information.
The policy of Dickinson College on Human
Immunodeﬁciency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome (AIDS)is based upon concern for the welfare of
the total campus community and for the infected individual within the
community. It is essentially one of education and awareness, using the best
resources available to convey current information. The college’s education
program will describe AIDS and will outline steps that all persons in the campus
community can take to prevent it. It will assure the campus community that
students with HIV do not pose a health risk to others by their presence in the
residential, academic, or student employment setting. Thus, they will not be
barred from participation in academic and campus activities or employment
except on the basis of expert medical advice. Dickinson College assumes that
persons who are, or who believe they are, at risk concerning HIV will want to
take steps to protect their own health and to protect the welfare of the
college community. Therefore, Dickinson College’s policy encourages students to
discuss conﬁdentiality their concerns about HIV with the Director of the Health
Center. Students who know they are HIV positive should notify the Director of
the Health Center. The director will assess the need for further medical
evaluation and referral. This policy is consistent with the recommendations of
the American College Health Association and other medical groups and
educational organizations that have proposed general policy guidelines
concerning HIV and AIDS.
Guidelines for AIDS Policy for Students
The following guidelines
expand upon Dickinson College’s goals for ongoing education of the college
community and early identiﬁcation and medical follow-up of the individual with
Reported HIV cases will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Medical
Director in consultation with local specialists, as necessary.
The college’s goal is
prevention of the spread of HIV. HIV is a biological event, a disease caused by
a virus most often transmitted by certain sexual or drug use behaviors.
Individuals with a positive HIV may transmit the virus through anal or vaginal
intercourse, sharing of needles, tattooing or piercing with unsterilized equipment,
exchange of bodily ﬂuids, and possibly through oral-genital contact (oral sex).
HIV is not transmitted by any form of casual interpersonal contact (such as
touching, sneezing, coughing, sharing eating utensils, toilet seats, etc.). No
known safety risks are created by the presence of persons with HIV in normal
academic, employment, or residential settings. AIDS education programs provide
the best way for the college community to be safe and healthy. Everyone needs
current information to make informed decisions.
A variety of educational
strategies are used by the college, e.g., printed materials, discussions with
groups and individuals to inform members of the campus community about healthy
choices and living with HIV and AIDS. The latest information can be found on
the CDC website at www.cdc.gov. Materials about HIV are incorporated into appropriate
academic and extracurricular programs. Promoting safe behavior includes:
- Stressing in
programs that abstinence from high risk behavior is the only absolute way to
prevent contracting HIV.
- Discussing sexual
behaviors that decrease the likelihood of transmission of sexually transmitted
diseases including HIV.
- Providing literature about Public Health
Service recommendations, such as:
razors, and other items that could be contaminated with blood should not be
- Students with HIV
or who engage in high risk behaviors should not donate blood, plasma, other
body tissues, organs, or sperm.
- Surfaces contaminated with blood should be
cleaned with household bleach diluted 1:10 with water or with a commercial
product which kills HIV (used by housekeeping).
- The student
should advise medical, dental, and eye care providers of the presence of HIV.
- Although the efficacy of condoms in preventing
infection with HIV is unproven, students should be informed that consistent use
may reduce risk.
- HIV antibody testing prior to
a student’s admission to the college is not required nor must students respond
to questions regarding a history of HIV.
- Students requesting
information about HIV testing should call the Health Center for an appointment.
The Health Center has been certiﬁed by the State Health Department to provide
conﬁdential, free HIV testing. The staff is trained in counseling students about
HIV and the testing procedure and the limitations of the test. If the student
wishes to go elsewhere to be tested they may call the local State Health
Department office at 717-243-5151.
- In order to better protect the campus
community and provide medical care to the student with HIV, that student should
inform the Director of the Health Center as soon as possible upon discovery of
having tested positive for HIV.
Privacy laws govern the
conﬁdentiality of medical records, including HIV-related information.
Conﬁdentiality of medical records is critical. Privacy laws outline under what
circumstances personal medical information can be shared, and with whom. Please
refer to the Health Center’s Web site for a full description of our privacy
policies. Speciﬁc information concerning a student with HIV will not be shared
with faculty, administration, staff, other institutions, insurers or parents
without written permission of the student, unless the student is putting him or
herself or others at risk related to the student’s HIV status. If a clear risk
is evident, action will be taken to protect the student and/or others as deemed
necessary by the college in consultation with its health care advisors.
Documentation of a student’s
HIV status in a student’s medical record shall be made consistent with the
Health Center’s policies and procedures to protect conﬁdentiality. Medical
records include accurate information to facilitate continuity of high quality
care for the individual.
- If the college is advised of
a student’s positive HIV status, regular medical follow-up for the student with
HIV is recommended. Counseling by a trained professional may also be
recommended. The college will assist in these aspects of a student’s needs, if
the student chooses.
- In order to coordinate meeting the health care
needs of the student, the student with HIV may wish to identify his or her
private health care provider to the Director of the Health Center or the
college physician. If the student does not have a physician, the Director of
the Health Center will refer an individual to health care providers and/or
agencies with expertise in AIDS.
- If a student chooses to
disclose his or her HIV status to the Health Center, the student’s knowledge
about transmission of HIV will be assessed by the Director of the Health Center
and/or the college physician. Detailed information will be given to the student
regarding high risk behaviors.
- A student with HIV will not be required to
take live virus vaccinations.
- Health reporting requirements for the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are observed.
and Work Considerations for the Student with AIDS
- A student with HIV must
properly govern his or her behavior in light of known risks of transmission of
HIV based on current medical knowledge. A student whose behavior endangers
others will, through appropriate procedures, be isolated or removed from the campus.
The decision to restrict or exclude will be rendered on a case-by-case basis.
- Residential housing issues
will be made without consideration of a student’s HIV status. There is no known
risk to those sharing living facilities who follow the simple safety rules in
- Roommate(s) and/or other
students in residential facilities will not be informed that a student has HIV
unless the infected student chooses to do so.
- A student with HIV will be allowed regular
- A student with HIV will be
allowed to participate in college activities.
- Dining Services and
Facilities Management student workers need not be restricted from work unless
there is evidence of infection or illness for which such workers are normally
- The student will have access
to all facilities including the gymnasium, swimming pool, cafeteria, and HUB.
- A student with HIV may
participate in intercollegiate athletic programs, intramural and club sports
following individual assessment by the college physician and appropriate
precautions taken with regard to contact sports.
- Special consideration will be
afforded the student who has reported a positive HIV test to help prevent the
student’s exposure during prevalence of such communicable diseases as measles
and chicken pox.
- In accordance with OSHA
regulations on Blood Borne Pathogens, employees (including student employees)
determined to be at risk due to the nature of their work will receive training
as outlined in the regulations, and will be offered Hepatitis B vaccine series.
All other employees will be notiﬁed of the proper procedure to follow if a
blood or body ﬂuid spill occurs in their area.
As used in this policy statement, AIDS includes
AIDS, AIDS-Related Complex (ARC) and a positive test for Human Immunodeﬁciency
 The Task Force on AIDS of the American College
Health Association, AIDS on the College Campus, ACHA, 2nd Edition, Special
Report, 1989 was the primary resource for these guidelines.