Bill aims to safeguard identities of HIV-positive youths

Image by CDC via Wikimedia CommonsImage by 20080601hiv.jpg A scanning electron micrograph shows HIV on a white blood cell. With a new bill, the state legislatures hopes to refine the HIV reporting process in schools.

Update: Governor Sanford vetoed the bill on Wednesday. A potential override of the veto by the Legislature is pending.

Original post: A new bill would require school nurses to notify the state health department when any student has contact with blood. The school would then be alerted of any known HIV cases (or any other diseases carried by blood or bodily fluids).

Presently, schools are always notified of the presence of a HIV-positive student, wether or not any blood-shedding incident has occurred.

Officials are hoping the new law will reduce privacy concerns and encourage students to take the test (as they the results would remain private).

The following section would be removed from the existing law:
If a minor has Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or is infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, and is attending the public schools, the superintendent of the school district and the nurse or other health professional assigned to the school the minor attends must be notified.

And, this section would be added:
A school nurse, or other school official, who knows of, or who has reason to believe, that there has been a transmission of blood or bodily fluids between or among students due to an incident occurring on school property or at a school-sponsored or school-sanctioned event shall report such incidents to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The bill has passed the house and senate as of May 29th but needs to be signed by the governor.

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