AIDS Policy (Policy 1.110P)
||Florida Statute 1001.64; FAC 6A-14.0262
||12/88 Rev. 7/92; 6/01
It is the policy of Seminole State College to balance the rights of individuals with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to an education and employment with the rights of students and employees to an environment in which they are protected from contracting the disease. The College will be flexible in its response to incidents of the disease, evaluating each occurrence in light of its general policy and the most accepted recent medical evidence, federal regulations, provisions of the Florida Educational Equity Act and Chapter 760 F.S., guidelines suggested by the Center for Disease Control, the Public Health Service and the technical advisement of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.
For the purposes of these guidelines, an infected individual means:
- an individual who is diagnosed as having AIDS;
- an individual who is determined to be HIV antibody positive but has not yet developed the symptoms of AIDS or ARC.
The American With Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 973 prohibit discrimination against a qualified individual with a disability from participating in or receiving benefits from services, programs, or activities of the College. Various court cases have determined that an infected individual, as defined above, is covered by those laws.
- General Policy
- A College committee will be responsible for acting upon and administering the College policy on AIDS. This group will be comprised of persons knowledgeable of and sensitive to the medical and psychological needs of infected persons. The committee will meet on an "as needed" basis to consider individual, name not identified, occurrences of the disease and recommend appropriate action to the administration. The committee will meet regularly to coordinate and monitor the College's efforts in educating the College community on AIDS.
- The College will make a reasonable effort to provide to students and employees accurate and up-to-date information about the transmissibility of the disease and precautions that may be taken by AIDS victims and non-victims to prevent the spread of the disease.
- The College will make reasonable accommodation to the special needs of students and employees with AIDS, unless such accommodation results in the expenditure of funds which result in an undue burden to the College, that is, an expenditure which impairs the ability of the College to meet program requirements.
- Any student or employee with a communicable disease who is actively contagious, and whose personal behavior and/or medical condition poses imminent risk to the College community, will be evaluated by the AIDS Committee or administrative authority on an individual, name not identified, basis to determine if limitations on contacts and activities or continuation at the College are in the best interest of the student or employee and the College community. Such evaluation will consider appropriate supporting information, including the opinion of the student's or employee's physician.
- Employment or continued employment or enrollment or continued enrollment of infected persons shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 760 F.S. and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Policy for Students
- Admission shall not be denied to a qualified student on the basis that the student is an infected individual.
- The College may not ask students applying for admission whether they have HIV or AIDS or require a seriologic test for infection. If students with HIV or AIDS require special accommodations due to their illness, the College may inquire about the disease after the student has been admitted.
- No student shall be required to cease attending the College on the basis of a diagnosis of infection. Such decisions will be made only after reasonable accommodations have been made and an examination of the facts demonstrates that the student can no longer perform as required, or that the student presents a health risk to himself or the College community.
- Any student who informs the College that he/she is infected will be accorded confidentiality regarding disclosure of the medical condition, in accordance with established statue and case law, and only those persons with an absolute need to know will be informed of the student's medical condition. Records gathered by the College about a student's disease and confidential, as provided by established statue and case law.
- The College must offer students with AIDS the same opportunities and benefits offered other students, including, educational programs, counseling, health insurance, employment opportunities, and financial assistance. The College may not impose any rules upon enrolled AIDS victims that have the effect of limiting the student's participation in the College's educational programs or activities, unless such limitation is required by the nature of the activity and the demonstrated communicability of the infected person's diagnosed illness.
- An otherwise qualified infected student shall be denied admission or disciplined under the same conditions and for the same regulations as those imposed on all students, as outlined in the College Catalog and student handbook. The student rights and disciplinary procedures outlined in the catalog and student handbook shall pertain to otherwise qualified infected students. Information concerning the medical condition of a student appearing before a College committee or the District Board of Trustees shall not be revealed. If the student requests that such information be revealed, the hearing, at the student's request, shall be heard on a name not identified basis with another person attending the hearing and speaking on the student's behalf.
- Policy Regarding Students of Allied Health Programs and Science Laboratory Courses
- The risk of contracting Hepatitis B is greater than the risk of contracting AIDS. Therefore, recommendation for the control of Hepatitis B infection will effectively prevent the spread of AIDS. All such recommendations are therefore incorporated herein.
- Sharp items (needles, scalpels, blades, and other sharp instruments) should be considered as potentially infective and be handled with extraordinary care to prevent accidental injury.
- Disposable syringes and needles, scalpel blades and other sharp items should be place in puncture resistant containers located as close as practical to the area in which they are used. To prevent needle stick injuries, needles should not be recapped, purposely bent, broken, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand.
- When the possibility of exposure to blood or other body fluid exists, routinely recommended precautions should be followed. The anticipated exposure may require gloves alone, as in handling items soiled with blood or other body fluids, or may also require gowns, masks and eye coverings when performing procedures or post-mortem examinations. Hands should be washed thoroughly and immediately if they accidentally become contaminated with blood.
- To minimize the need for emergency mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, mouth pieces, resuscitation bags, or other ventilation devices should be located and available for use in areas where the need for resuscitation is predictable.
- Pregnant Allied Health students or other pregnant students are not known to be at greater risk of contracting the AIDS virus than students who are not pregnant. However, if a student develops infection with the AIDS virus during pregnancy, the infant has an increased risk of infection through prenatal or perinatal transmission. Because of this risk, pregnant students should be especially familiar with precautions for preventing the transmission or acquisition of the AIDS virus.
- Allied Health students or students engaged in health care who have AIDS who are not involved in invasive procedures need not be restricted from work unless they have some other illness for which any health care worker would be restricted.
- For Allied Health students and other students who have AIDS, there is an increased danger from infection due to disease they may come in contact with in classes or in the clinical area. Students with AIDS, who have defective immunity, are at risk of acquiring or experiencing serious complication of such diseases. Of particular concern is the risk of severe infection for Allied Health students who have HIV or AIDS following exposure to patients with infectious diseases that are easily transmitted if appropriate precautions are not taken (e.g. tuberculosis or chicken pox). Students with AIDS should be counseled about potential risk associated with exposure to or taking care of patients with transmissible infections and should continue to follow existing recommendations for infection control to minimize their risk of exposure to other infectious agents.
- The Allied Health student's physician in conjunction with College faculty and the College's AIDS Committee should determine on an individual basis whether the student with HIV or AIDS can adequately and safely perform patient care duties and suggest changes in work assignments if indicated.
- Infected neurologically handicapped students who cannot control bodily secretions and students who have uncoverable oozing lesions should not be permitted to participate in providing health care services. The determination of whether an infected student should be excluded from providing health care shall be made on a case-by-case basis by a team composed of the student's physician, appropriate College faculty and administrators, and the College's AIDS Committee.
- Policy for Employees
- Applicants for employment shall not be refused consideration because they have AIDS, test positive for antibodies to HIV, or are thought to be at special risk for illness.
- Employees shall not be terminated or be treated differently from fellow workers because they have AIDS, test positive for antibodies to HIV, or are thought to be at special risk for illness.
- An otherwise qualified infected employee shall be denied employment, disciplined or terminated under the same conditions and for the same regulations as those imposed on all employees, as outlined in the District Board of Trustees rule, State Board of Education regulations and Florida Statutes. Information concerning a medical condition of an employee appearing before a hearing committee or the District Board of Trustees shall not be revealed. If the employee requests that such information be revealed, the hearing, at the employee's request, shall be heard on a name not identified basis with another person attending the hearing and speaking in the employee's behalf.
- In instances where an infected employee is unable to fulfill his/her regular responsibilities, or portions of those responsibilities, but is able and desires to continue working in a less mentally or physically demanding capacity, the College will make a reasonable effort, if requested, to accommodate the employee's handicap as it would accommodate any other ill or injured employee.
- As in the case of any other illness, injury, or disability, a supervisor who believes that an infected employee is unable to perform assigned duties due to the illness, may recommend to the Human Resource Department that the employee be required to submit to a medical examination by a physician named and paid by the College to determine if the employee can do the work. Based on the medical opinion appropriate procedures will be applied.
- Any employee who informs the College that he/she is infected will be accorded confidentially regarding disclosure of the medical condition, in accordance with established statute or case law, and only those persons with an absolute need to know will be informed of the employee's medical condition. Records gathered by the College about an employee's disease are confidential, as provided by established statute and case law.
- Any infected employee shall be eligible to accrued sick or annual leave as needed.
- Any infected employee will be eligible to continue health and other insurance coverage as any other seriously ill employee. An infected employee may be eligible for disability retirement according to established regulations.
- Employees will adopt the most stringent infection control measures and not use shortcuts of any kind. College employees and especially custodial workers will receive instruction about modes of transmission or acquisition of HTLV-III/LAV. The importance of hand washing after handling potentially contaminated objects will be emphasized.
- All employees who have responsibility for cleaning or repairing restrooms shall wear plastic gloves when working in restrooms.
- Custodial workers will use appropriate disinfectant in cleaning restroom facilities to ensure that any contaminated surfaces are fully cleaned.
- Employees, while performing their College duties, are required to conform to the College policy on AIDS and these guidelines in dealing with infected students or employees.