June 16, 2008
Lawmakers Mass Against South Carolina School HIV Notification Rule
In the aftermath of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s veto of a bill that would have eliminated the state’s current requirement that school faculty and administration be notified of any HIV-positive students enrolled in their schools, the bill’s legislative sponsors say they will attempt to override the veto, according to the Columbia, South Carolina, newspaper The State (thestate.com, 6/13).
The bill would have ended the mandated notification of a student’s HIV-positive status unless the student had come into contact with another person’s blood through, for example, a fight or sporting event. Sanford issued a veto message on June 11, saying that the required notification of all HIV-positive students should be restored. “In the interest of health and safety for all children, DHEC should continue to notify the proper school officials if a child has AIDS/HIV,” he wrote.
The bill’s sponsors say they will attempt the override later this month when the general assembly reconvenes. For the bill to pass, two thirds of both the house and senate would have to vote to override the governor.
“What we’re talking about is violating someone’s right to medical privacy based on their age and based on one health condition,” said a supporter of the removal bill, Bambi Gaddist of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council. “The question is why do (school officials) need access to this information?”
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comments 1 - 5 (of 5 total)
dbeck, Houston, 2008-06-24 13:16:29
Schools keep a health record of all children - they need to know the health history in case of emergency - DUH. It is not a privacy issue, it is a medically necessary thing. Just like if your kid has asthma, you'd want the school to know wouldn't you? Why then would you not want school officials to take precautions in case of injury on the playground such as a skinned knee.
Michael, Haslett, 2008-06-17 13:14:33
I agree, there is no need for the schools to know the status of a student unless they have come in contact with someone else blood with their own blood. And then it should be the student who reports it to the school, not the doctors.
Kevin, Phoenix, 2008-06-17 13:07:37
Does the governor think that schools should be notified when children have hepatitis B or C, both of which are also bloodborne pathogens like HIV? If not, then why single out children with HIV when the social stigma is a huge problem in this part of the country?
Eliza Quill, Augusta, 2008-06-17 10:15:35
The only reason the school board or staff members should know about a student's HIV/AIDS status is if they are sharing syringes for injecting drugs or having unprotected sex with them. Enough said.
Mike, Jackson, MS, 2008-06-17 08:17:02
comments 1 - 5 (of 5 total)
I realize I might fall on the wrong side of this political bombshell, but honestly, I think status SHOULD be required for school children. Uniform medical care procedure calls for the treatment of one and all the exact same, but in school yards and classrooms, teachers and administrators should be made aware of the situation they are dealing with. The number of cases involving wounds and blood is extremely high there. Now, if they do not keep the info confidential, they'll get their pants off.
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