Division of Student Services

HIV/AIDS Policy

 

As a Catholic university, Seton Hall strives to enhance the well-being of all members of its community. The University is committed to providing an open forum for ongoing education on a broad range of topics, as well as appropriate counseling and pastoral support for those with special needs. Recognizing the diverse nature of the campus body, the University encourages input from all sources, and seeks to enhance knowing and compassionate responses to social issues.

The most significant contribution that Seton Hall University can make to limit the spread of HIV infection is through education. When members of the University community are fully informed about the nature of this disease, its modes of transmission and those behavioral changes that can limit the spread of AIDS, a significant step will have been made in protecting the lives and health of our students, faculty, administrators, staff and employees.

The following guidelines are suggested by the American College Health Association and Center for Disease Control (CDC), are based on the most current data available:

  1. Institutional Committee
    A campus committee, drawn from various governance groups, will organize and oversee an educational program and provide a mechanism for making policy decisions as they become necessary. Should an issue be raised regarding a member of the Seton Hall faculty, staff or student body (or applicants for the same) with AIDS/HIV, the case circumstances will be evaluated by a small core group of the AIDS Task Force. This core will include representatives of Health/Counseling Services and legal counsel. In making recommendations, the task force will give consideration to the health and safety of the individual and the institution, maintaining and protecting the civil rights of both.
  2. Admissions
    There will be no discrimination in accepting persons with HIV or AIDS at Seton Hall University.
  3. Employment
    Persons seeking employment by Seton Hall University will not be discriminated against on the basis of HIV or AIDS, nor will employment be terminated on the basis of this disease, unless the nature and extent of the illness reasonably precludes the performance of employment or impairs any operations of the University. If a person is unable to perform duties because of HIV or AIDS, benefits will be continued in accordance with the University policy pertaining to employees with any other handicap or illness.
  4. Class Attendance
    Students who are HIV positive or have AIDS will not be excluded from attending classes or partaking in University activities. Students who may be too ill to attend class will be treated as any other student with a serious illness.
  5. Access to Facilities
    There will be no restriction of access for individuals with HIV or AIDS to student unions, theaters, restaurants, cafeterias, gymnasiums, swimming pools, recreational facilities or other common areas.
  6. Residential Housing
    Decisions about housing for students with HIV and AIDS must be made on a case-by-case basis. The most current medical information available does not indicate any risk to those sharing residence with infected individuals. The University may choose to provide private rooms in order to protect the health of immunodeficient students -- not to protect other students from them.
  7. HIV Antibody Testing
    There will be no mandatory testing of students or employees, or prospective students or employees, for HIV or AIDS. Health/Counseling Services provides voluntary testing. Testing must be confidential where positive results can be confirmed by specific tests and both pre-and post-test counseling are available.
  8. Confidentiality
    There will be no requirement that students or employees, or prospective students or employees, be asked to respond to questions about their status in regard to HIV or AIDS. However, it is appropriate for students and employees with HIV or AIDS to inform campus health care providers to enable the University to provide proper medical care, support, counseling and education. This, like any other medical information, will be handled in the strictest of confidence. No person, group, agency, insurer, employer or institution will be provided with any medical information without the prior specific written consent of the patient. Given the possibility of unintended compromise of the confidentiality of information, Health/Counseling Services will carefully weigh the importance of including any specific information about the existence of HIV or AIDS in the medical record, except when circumstances of medical necessity mandate it. At minimum, the inclusion of any information regarding HIV or AIDS will be discussed with the patient prior to entry.

    The number of people in the institution who are aware of the existence and/or identity of students and employees who are HIV positive or have AIDS will be kept to a minimum, both to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the infected persons, and to avoid the generation of unnecessary fear and anxiety. The University recognizes that all confidential medical information is protected by statutes and that any unauthorized disclosure of it may create legal liability.

    The duty of health care providers to protect the confidentiality of information is superseded by the necessity to protect others only in very specific, life-threatening circumstances.
  9. Public Health Reporting Requirements
    In all jurisdictions, cases of AIDS meeting the criteria for the surveillance definition of the Centers for Disease Control must be reported to the local public health authorities. In New Jersey, a positive blood test for the HIV antibody is reportable to the State Health Department but must be kept confidential. The detailed and revised surveillance definition for AIDS-case reporting purposes is included in : Centers for Disease Control. Revision of the CDC surveillance case definition for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports 1987; 36: 1S.
  10. Medical Care
    Special precautions to protect the health of individuals with HIV or AIDS should be considered during periods of prevalence of certain contagious diseases, such as measles or chicken pox. Individuals with HIV or AIDS may be excused from any institutional requirements as medically indicated.
  11. Support Services
    The University’s health policy encourages regular and follow-up counseling for those who have HIV or AIDS. The University will make counseling available through Health/Counseling Services and/or Campus Ministry for persons who:
    • are HIV positive or have AIDS;
    • are concerned about HIV exposure; are experiencing stress because someone close to them is HIV positive or has AIDS;
    • have suffered the loss of someone close to them as a result of AIDS.
  12. Safety Precautions
    The University must follow the Universal Safety Precautions as proposed by the United States Public Health Service for the handling of the blood and body fluids of all persons. Teaching laboratories requiring exposure to blood will use only disposable equipment, and no lancets or other bloodletting devices will be shared or reused. No students, except those in health care profession schools, will be required to obtain or process the blood of others.
  13. Harassment
    Seton Hall University condemns all forms of discrimination and considers verbal or physical manifestation of such discrimination intolerable. Violators will be quickly dealt with according to University disciplinary policies.

     




Effective Date

January 1, 1995

 
 
Contact Us

Division of Student Services
(973) 761-9075
Fax (973) 761-9797
studentservices@shu.edu
Bishop Dougherty University Center

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