S.C. Continues HIV School Notification
On June 25, South Carolina legislators upheld Governor Mark Sanford’s veto of a bill that would have eliminated the state’s mandatory notification of nurses, teachers and administrators whenever an HIV-positive student in grades K through 12 enrolls in their school, the Associated Press (AP)/The Augusta Chronicle reports (augustachronicle.com, 6/30).
If passed, the reform bill would have required school nurses to disclose a student’s positive HIV status to the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) only if the positive student’s blood came into contact with that of another student. According to the article, the disclosure law’s opponents, including state senator Brad Hutto, say it stigmatizes positive students and will therefore discourage others from getting tested.
“Right now, these kids are not getting tested,” Hutto told the AP. “They’re just going out and spreading whatever they have. They’re afraid somebody at school’s going to find out and everybody’s going to find out.”
According to the article, Sanford wants the school notifications to include such other blood-borne illnesses as hepatitis C.