Student Medical Records
The personal health records required for matriculation at the University do not include questions concerning the existence of HIV infection; however, students with HIV infection are encouraged to inform their health care provider(s), including the Health Services staff, so that appropriate medical care, support, counseling and education can be provided. This, like all other medical information, will be handled in strictly confidential manner in accordance with the procedures and requirements in effect at the Health Services.
Medical and Psychological Follow-up
Primary medical and psychological care for students with HIV infection is available through the Health Services and Counseling Services. As with other medical illnesses, referrals are provided for services beyond the scope of care available on campus.
Employee Records and Support Services
The personnel records required for employment by the University do not include questions concerning the existence of HIV infection. HIV infected employees are provided the same services available to all employees with serious illnesses and are entitled to the full protection of the University’s sick leave and disability programs, as well as medical care under their respective health care plan.
Students known to have HIV infection are not automatically exempted from institutional requirements for vaccinations; however, requests for exemptions for these requirements are handled on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Health Services.
HIV Antibody Testing
The University does not require mandatory testing of either employees or students for evidence of HIV infection; however, employees and students should understand that independent insurance carriers may require HIV antibody testing. Individuals desiring HIV antibody testing are referred by the University Health Services to anonymous and confidential testing and counseling services in the region.
Confidentiality of Health Records and Release of Information
It is the policy of the University that all health records are strictly confidential. No specific or detailed information about students’ health concerns or diagnosis will be provided to faculty, administrators, or even parents without the expressed written consent of the patient in each case. This position with respect to the health record is supported by Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 regarding the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases in minors. Furthermore, no person, group, agency, insurer, employer or institution will be provided medical information of any kind without the prior written consent of the patient. The inclusion of any information regarding HIV infection in any University records will be discussed with the individual prior to its entry.
Need to Know
The number of individuals at the University who are aware of the existence and/or identity of students or employees who have HIV infection will be kept to an absolute minimum on a “need-to-know” basis.
Discrimination, Harassment and Endangering Behavior
Discrimination against or harassment of persons with HIV infection or persons who are at high risk (or perceived high risk) is a violation of federal and state laws and University policies and regulations. The University will not protect individuals who violate federal and state laws. Violators of University policies and regulations are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with established University procedures.
Likewise, behavior by members of the Northwestern community known to have HIV infection that intentionally places other members of the community at risk of contracting HIV is considered endangering behavior. Such behavior is unacceptable and a violation of University policies and regulations. Violators are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with established University procedures.
The University Health Services, science laboratory personnel, and the departments of Athletics, Buildings and Grounds, and Public Safety have adopted universal precautions and safety procedures as proposed by the United States Health Service for the handling of blood and bodily fluids, the proper cleaning of contaminated surfaces and equipment, and the proper handling of and disposal of contaminated medical supplies in order to prevent transmission of HIV.
The University will continue to monitor new information about AIDS and HIV infection and reserves the right to modify these guidelines.