Chapter 13 – HIV Infection and AIDS (HIV Disease)

(9/97; amended 3/04; 7/1/08)

13.1 General

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the causative agent of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a chronic and progressive disease which affects the human immune system. HIV disease is an issue of importance to the University of Iowa community.

The University's paramount concern is to protect individual rights and safety, to respect personal privacy and the confidentiality of medical information, and to provide opportunities for the fullest possible participation in all educational, cultural, and social activities of the University, including employment. In compliance with applicable federal and state law, the University endeavors to make reasonable accommodation for people with HIV involved in University programs and employment. For information on accommodation, please refer to the Disability Protection Policy (II-7).

The University periodically publishes and distributes a document entitled "Questions and Answers Concerning University of Iowa Policies on HIV Infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)." This document is designed to provide an up-to-date knowledge base regarding HIV infection risks and prevention practices, to establish the underlying principles upon which University policy is based, to foster well-reasoned and specific responses to individual cases, and to provide exemplary guidelines for responding to the complex social, medical, and ethical issues related to HIV disease. Copies of the document are available from Student Health and Wellness.

Individual units of the University may create specific policies that are relevant to their particular circumstances provided they are consistent with this policy, current medical and scientific knowledge, and applicable federal, state, and local law.

13.2 Nondiscrimination

Individuals with HIV disease are protected by applicable federal and state laws, as well as by the University's Human Rights and Nondiscrimination policies (see II-1-9). These laws and policies prohibit disability-based discrimination and harassment against persons living with HIV disease, persons perceived to have HIV disease, and, in many circumstances, caretakers, relatives, or other persons associated with individuals known to have HIV disease. The University treats HIV disease as it does any other disability and does not discriminate with regard to associations, employment, or access to or treatment in its facilities, programs, or activities. Questions regarding the University's nondiscrimination policy should be referred to the Office of Institutional Equity.

13.3 Confidentiality

HIV-related information is confidential and, by law, is not to be disclosed or revealed to anyone, in any manner, without an individual's express, written, and HIV-specific consent. HIV-related information includes a person's infection or disease status as well as the fact that an individual has been tested for HIV, regardless of the result. An individual can choose to disclose their HIV status and may be asked or required to reveal HIV- or disability-related information when requesting reasonable workplace, educational, or other accommodations or when completing certain insurance applications. Iowa Code 141A governs the dissemination of HIV/AIDS information, including subsequent disclosures, and other laws and policies address and safeguard the confidentiality of medical, dental, educational, and employment records and information.

13.4 HIV Testing and Counseling

HIV testing is available at The University of Iowa and in surrounding communities. Confidential testing is available for students, faculty, and staff at Student Health and Wellness, the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, and the Department of Family Practice, as appropriate. In cases of suspected occupational exposure, testing will be provided without cost to the individual. Anonymous testing is available in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and elsewhere in Iowa. Informed consent is required, and appropriate counseling (pre-test and post-test) is to be provided in accordance with Iowa Code PDF icon 141A. An HIV test is not a requirement or precondition for employment, admission, or enrollment at The University of Iowa.

13.5 Occupational Safety

The University of Iowa provides education and training about infection risk and infection prevention procedures and adheres to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations, standards, and regulations regarding blood-borne pathogens. Annual training is mandated for all members of the University community whose employment places them at risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens. Training is also provided to students whose academic programs place them at risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens. Questions related to occupational safety may be referred to Environmental Health and Safety.

13.6 Policy Review and Responsibility

The University of Iowa Task Force on Infectious Diseases will review this policy and the "Questions and Answers" document biannually to ensure that the materials remain accurate and consistent with the latest available clinical, medical, scientific, and legal information and requirements.