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Policy on AIDS

(Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

AIDS presents society with a spiritual, ethical and medical crisis. AIDS challenges society in general, and the university in particular, to respond to the AIDS crisis in a way that shows respect, compassion and understanding for those afflicted. The University is also challenged to protect, insofar as is reasonably possible, its students and employees from health risks associated with AIDS. Concern for the individual integrity of members of the Barry community has been a long-standing tradition of the University. This tradition and the University's mission to provide a caring environment serve as a framework for our response to the challenge presented by the AIDS crisis.

AIDS is a serious danger to the public health and welfare. When a person is ill with AIDS, he or she is in the final stages of a disease process caused by a human retro virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV attacks the immune system and over time damages a person's ability to fight other diseases, leaving the affected person vulnerable to a host of other infectious agents. Presently, there is no known cure or effective vaccine.

HIV is transmitted only through the exchange of bodily fluids during sexual contact, from transfusions of unscreened blood products that have been contaminated by the virus, by the shared use of contaminated hypodermic needles, and between an infected mother and her fetus.

HIV cannot be spread by casual contact with an infected person. The types of contact experienced in a classroom or workplace do not place individuals at risk of contracting the virus from infected persons. Considering current authoritative medical opinion, there is no basis for routinely excluding or dismissing employees or students because of AIDS or HIV infection. Since these conditions have been designated as handicaps, it is also against the law to exclude or dismiss someone on the basis of AIDS and HIV infection.

The University has counseling and pastoral guidance available for those with AIDS and HIV infection. If appropriate, counseling may include providing information on the nature of AIDS and HIV infection and the importance of not engaging in behavior that could result in transmission. Depending on the medical circumstances of each situation, the University may wish to keep apprised of the medical condition of an infected individual after obtaining the individual's informed consent. The right to privacy of all individuals will be respected and protected, and the confidentiality of any required records will be maintained. Because the virus is not transmitted by casual contact, it is neither necessary nor appropriate for the protection of a roommate, classmate, or employee to share with them any information regarding a student or employee with an AIDS-related condition.

Resident students shall not be denied the opportunity to live in University housing solely on the basis of a diagnosis of AIDS or HIV infection nor will students be moved within or removed from University housing solely on the basis of a diagnosis of HIV infection. Changes in room, or removal from University housing, will be made on a case-by-case examination in which it is determined that one of the following situations exists: 1. The student has communicable opportunistic infections and requires care that cannot reasonably be provided in a University housing setting. 2. The student is demonstrating symptoms, needs or behaviors that are inappropriate in a University housing setting and cannot be reasonably accommodated. 3. The student presents a major risk to himself/herself or the other residents of the University housing unit.
Students, faculty and staff who are performing health care work as part of an allied health program of study will be provided instruction and required to follow departmental or school guidelines concerning AIDS and HIV infection.

Barry University will comply with all Federal and state laws and regulations, including those of the United States Public Health Service and the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, which relate to HIV infection and bear on the health and welfare of persons within the University community. The University will continue to provide educational programs designed to acquaint the campus community with current information about AIDS and how to avoid and minimize the risks of HIV transmission.

Anyone with questions about AIDS and HIV infection may contact the Student Health Center and/or the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services. Materials on AIDS are available from various campus offices as well as the library.

The University's AIDS policy is subject to change as new medical information becomes available and changes in the law are made.

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