1.0.3 University Policy on HIV Infection

Policy Section: Statement of Responsibility

Policy Number and Title: 1.0.3 University Policy on HIV Infection
Applicable to: All Employees
Effective Date: December 1, 1995

Introduction

Princeton University regards human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection as an important public health issue for the University community. (See footnote below.) It does not discriminate on the basis of HIV infection. The University recognizes the responsibility of every individual to prevent transmission of the infection.
 
Fundamental to the University's response to HIV infection and other chronic illnesses is the commitment to respect the rights and reasonable concerns of everyone, including those individuals living with this condition. Princeton University expects people, who are aware that they have HIV infection, to take precautions against knowingly infecting others. Education, understanding, compassion and confidentiality are crucial in dealing effectively and responsibly with the profound issues surrounding this public health problem.

Access

In compliance with Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, people living with HIV infection are accorded rights of access to every aspect of Princeton University life, including regular academic, employment, social, cultural, spiritual, and athletic activities and student support and human resources services. Princeton University makes reasonable accommodations for people living with HIV infection.

HIV Prevention

Prevention Education & the University Community
Princeton University makes available timely, current and scientifically sound HIV prevention education to every member of the community. Princeton University Health Services (PUHS) is assigned the responsibility of coordinating the University's HIV prevention education, with secondary support from the Office of Human Resources and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. The University encourages each member of the community to take advantage of all HIV prevention programs.
Occupational Health and Safety Practices & Training
Princeton University adheres to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards to decrease and prevent transmission of infectious diseases, including HIV infection and hepatitis B virus, through occupational exposure.
 
Employees whose occupations place them at risk of exposure to contaminated blood and other body fluids must practice universal precautions at the worksite. In accordance with OSHA regulations, the University's Office of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for coordinating OSHA mandated training.

Screening for HIV Infection

As an institution, Princeton University does not mandate testing for any individual or group. However, the University encourages voluntary testing, which may be obtained through confidential or anonymous testing facilities, because early identification of the infection can minimize its transmission and allow early treatment which may prolong life expectancy and enhance quality of life.

Health Maintenance & Services for People Living with HIV Infection

Health Maintenance
Individuals with HIV infection who choose or find it necessary to reveal their status can discuss, with the appropriate PUHS clinician and/or University staff member, any risks of participating in the University community. As with any other disability, as outlined in the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a decision to remain an active member of the community is determined on a casebycase basis, in consultation with the individual and appropriate offices. Individuals known to be immunologically compromised may be excused from institutional requirements for certain vaccinations that may lead to serious medical consequences.
Insurance
Members of the University community may be covered under a variety of health care plans that can be used to cover the cost of medical management of HIV infection. Individual policies cover illnesses at different levels and should be consulted as needed.

Legal Issues

Compliance
The Vice Provost for Institutional Equity oversees the University's compliance with federal, state, and local laws which protect people with disabilities, including HIV infection, from discrimination. The University's Office of Environmental Health and Safety oversees the University's compliance with OSHA standards.
Confidentiality
All members of the University community are expected to respect others' rights to confidentiality. Nonconsensual disclosure of another person's HIV status is strongly discouraged. In addition, those who are responsible for supervising others, such as managers and administrators, may only reveal information about the disabilities of their faculty, staff or students, including their HIV status, on a need to know basis such as to fulfill a request for a reasonable accommodation or provide information to a health care professional providing emergency medical treatment.
 
PUHS clinicians conducting confidential HIV testing at the McCosh Health Center are obligated to report positive HIV test results to the New Jersey Department of Health.
Discrimination
HIV infection status is treated like any other disability when considering an individual's ability to participate in the community or to fulfill academic or job responsibilities. HIV status does not affect determinations regarding working and living arrangements, including admissions, hiring, advancement, promotion or termination of students, faculty or staff.
In addition, acts of discrimination against any member of the community living with HIV infection, perceived to be HIV positive or serving as a caretaker for someone who is HIV positive may violate federal and state statutes, and recourse may be available under these statutes. Acts of discrimination also violate University regulations and are not tolerated.

Conclusion

Princeton University encourages its community to work together to prevent transmission of HIV and to become actively involved in supporting and caring for members of our community who are living with HIV infection.

Footnote

HIV infection is a chronic, progressive, immune deficiency disease. The most severe phase is AIDS. Richard Keeling, "HIV Disease: Current Concepts," Journal of Counseling and Development, January/February, 1993, p. 261.

Related Documents

Other Information

Guidelines for Faculty and Staff Regarding HIV Infection