Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
Handbook of Operating Procedures 3-1310
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
I. Policy Statement
The University of Texas at Austin ("University") recognizes human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a serious public health threat and is committed to promoting an informed, educated, and responsive University community regarding HIV and the associated Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This policy provides the framework for managing risks associated with HIV and AIDS in compliance with state laws and in the context of the medical, educational, legal, administrative, and ethical issues involved.
II. Reason for Policy
To provide the roles and responsibilities for responding to specific situations involving persons with AIDS or HIV infections in compliance with Texas Administrative Code (Title 25, part 1, chapter 96, Bloodborne Pathogen Control) and Texas Education Code (Sec. 51.919 HIV and AIDS Policy; Information Dissemination) covering areas of administrative policy, residence life, health education, testing, confidentiality, and patient care.
III. Scope & Audience
The policy applies to University employees and students.
IV. Definitions (specific to this policy)
- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS):
A chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the HIV infection. By damaging the immune system, HIV interferes with the body's ability to fight off infections and disease.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV):
The virus that can lead to AIDS, a sexually transmitted infection. It can also be spread by contact with infected blood, or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breast-feeding. Within this policy, “HIV infection” denotes the total spectrum of the disease, from HIV seropositive but asymptomatic infection to fully developed AIDS.
- Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan:
A written control plan providing direction on the elimination or minimization of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including HIV, in occupational and educational settings in accordance with the Texas Health and Safety Code, Sec. 81.304 and with guidance from the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030, Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. The University's Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan may be found as a link from http://www.utexas.edu/safety/ehs/biosafety/.
V. Website (for policy)
|University Health Services (UHS) (for students)||Phone:512-471-4955||Website:|
|Health Promotion Resource Center (for students)||Phone:512-475-8252||Website:|
|Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)||Phone:512-471-6259||Website:|
|HealthPoint Occupational Health Program (for employees)||Phone:512-471-4OHP (4647)||Website:|
|Human Resources (HR) (for employees)||Phone:512-471-HRSC (4772)||Website:|
|Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)||Phone:512-471-3511||Website:|
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures
- Bloodborne Pathogens Control Committee (BPCC)
The University establishes a Bloodborne Pathogens Control Committee (BPCC) authorized to annually review and update the University's written Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan. The committee will be comprised minimally of representatives from:
- Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) department
- University Health Services (UHS)
- HealthPoint Occupational Health Program
- Each department that employs workers with reasonable anticipation of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including HIV.
- University Commitment
The University will manage its administrative operations with respect to individuals with HIV infection or AIDS in the following manner.
- Admissions. The existence of HIV infection will not be considered in admission decisions unless current scientific information indicates required academic activities may expose others to risk of transmission.
- Employment. The existence of HIV infection will not be used to determine suitability of applicants for employment by the University. An HIV-infected employee will remain employed as long as he or she is able to perform the essential functions of the job and is able to meet the job performance standards.
- Facilities Access. A person with HIV infection will not be denied access to any University facility based on HIV-positive status.
- Residential Housing. The University residential housing staff will not exclude HIV-positive students from University housing, and will not inform other students that a person with HIV infection lives in University housing.
- Class Attendance. A student with HIV infection will be allowed to attend all classes without restrictions, as long as the student is physically and mentally able to participate and perform assigned work, and poses no health risk to others.
- Risk Management and Safety
The University will manage the risk and safety issues associated with HIV and AIDS in the following areas.
- Health Care Workers and Health Professions. The University establishes appropriate guidelines for its health care workers and students in the health professions concerning the prevention of transmission of bloodborne pathogens, which includes HIV, among others. Training requirements are detailed in the University's Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan.
- Laboratory Courses. Department managers/heads of departments offering lab courses or operating labs where possible risk of exposure to material that has potential for transmitting HIV must develop written, lab safety protocol using standard precautions for handling such material. This written protocol must be distributed to students and staff members prior to such exposure in accordance with the Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan.
- Education on HIV Prevention Provided to Students. The University will routinely offer education to students based on HIV education and prevention programs. These programs will be developed in conjunction with federal and state health agencies and other health authorities and will be tailored to students’ cultural, educational, language, and developmental needs. UHS will provide information to students pertaining to HIV infection on a variety of related topics. UHS will also make referrals for anonymous HIV counseling and testing services.
- Education of Students Entering Health Professions. Each college or school offering medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, counseling, social work, or similar degree programs must ensure its program curricula contains information about:
- methods of transmission and prevention of HIV infection
- federal and state laws, rules, and regulations concerning HIV infection and AIDS
- the physical, emotional, and psychological stress associated with the care of patients with incurable illnesses
- Education of Employees Where Risk of Exposure to HIV May Be Part of Their Employment Duties. Managers/supervisors of departments requiring employees to perform employment duties where risk of exposure to HIV is possible must provide training to those employees about HIV transmission specific to their employment duties. This training must include methods to minimize or eliminate that risk by following standard precautions including engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment used to minimize or eliminate risk of exposure. The University's Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan includes information specific to HIV and standard precautions.
- Confidentiality of Records
Except where release is required or authorized by law, information concerning the HIV or AIDS status of students, employees, or patients, and any portion of a medical record will be kept confidential and will not be released without written consent. Information concerning HIV or AIDS status held in non-medical records will be limited to that which is necessary to determine reasonable accommodations, if applicable, or to investigate an occupational exposure. Non-medical records containing personal health information (PHI) will follow privacy standards established by federal and state law.
- Other Issues Related to HIV
- HIV Testing and Bloodborne Pathogens Post-exposure Testing. In the event of a work-related bloodborne pathogens exposure, the employee must contact the HealthPoint Occupational Health Program as soon as practical for guidance on post-exposure testing services, available at no cost to the employee. Refer to the University’s Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan for details. Students may obtain HIV testing services from UHS.
- Unemployment Compensation Benefits. When applicable, the University will inform employees that state law provides that an individual will be disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits if the Texas Workforce Commission finds the employee left work voluntarily rather than provide services included within the course and scope of employment to an individual infected with a communicable disease, including HIV. This disqualification applies if the University-provided facilities, equipment, training, and supplies necessary to take reasonable precautions against infection.
- Health Benefits. No University student or employee will be subjected to impermissible discrimination under a health benefits plan endorsed by the University based on a positive HIV test result.
VIII. Form & Tools
Last review date: April 29, 2015
Editorial change made May 12, 2015
Next scheduled review: April 2017
Previously HOP 7.26