2.8 Safety and Health Policies

2.8.9 College AIDS Policy

2.8.9 College AIDS Policy

Current knowledge indicates that individuals with AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), HIV-related illness or a positive HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) test do not pose a health risk to others through ordinary social or occupational interaction, according to the American College Health Association (ACHA). Ithaca College will not exclude individuals with those conditions from College-sponsored activities.

Ithaca College recognizes that HIV infection, HIV-related illness, and AIDS are disabilities covered by federal, state, and local statutes.

In accordance with Ithaca College's long standing policy regarding the rights and privacy of individuals, members of the College community should take care to respect the confidentiality of information concerning persons with AIDS or HIV-related illness. Both Ithaca College policy and the law prevent the disclosure of any such information to a third party without consent. Adherence to confidentiality helps to limit the risk of discrimination against those with HIV infection.

The ACHA states that the "primary response of colleges to the AIDS epidemic must be education." Ithaca College strongly endorses this principle and encourages the ongoing educational efforts of the AIDS Education and Policy Committee, Action for AIDS, and other campus organizations.

This policy is based on the best currently available medical facts about AIDS and will be revised if new information warrants. Health Center Guidelines

(Based on New York State Public Health Law Article 27-F)

Medical records are considered confidential records. New York State Law protects HIV-related information, including HIV test results, from being disclosed by health and social service providers without the client's consent. Disclosure of HIV-related information is permitted with an executed HIV release form approved by the state health department that indicates the specific person or organization who will receive the information.

All disclosures of confidential HIV information must be accompanied by a statement prohibiting redisclosure. If oral disclosure is necessary, it must be accompanied by a redisclosure prohibition statement within 10 days. Disclosure without a release form may be made to certain authorized persons described in the law and noted on the HIV antibody test informed consent form. A physician may notify a contact without consent if the physician believes that disclosure is medically appropriate; if the contact is at significant risk of HIV infection; and if the protected person will not inform the contact after being counseled to do so.

Before notifying the contact, the physician is required to inform the protected person of the physician's intent to notify the contact and comply with the protected person's choice of whether the physician or a public health officer via the Partner Notification Program will notify the contact. The physician or public health officer should never identify the protected person to the contact. New York State Public Health Law Article 27-F also includes provisions regarding HIV-related testing and requirements for written informed consent prior to testing, as well as information regarding penalties for violating the law. More detailed information on confidentiality disclosure requirements, and the issuance of court orders can be found in this New York State Public Health Law Article. Definitions

Agent of the College

Anyone acting on behalf of the College.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

A weakening of the human immune system caused by infection with HIV, as may be defined from time to time by the United States Centers for Disease Control and the United States Public Health Service.

Confidential HIV-Related Information

Any information, in the possession of a person who provides one or more health or social services or who obtains the information pursuant to a release of confidential HIV-related information, concerning whether an individual has been the subject of an HIV-related test, or has HIV infection, an HIV-related illness, or AIDS, or information that identifies or reasonably could identify an individual as having one or more of such conditions, including information pertaining to such individual's contacts.


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) defines disability as (1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individuals, (2) a record of such an impairment, or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment.


Negative and/or different treatment of a person based solely on actual or perceived health or disability status.

HIV Infection

Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or any other related virus identified as a probable causative agent of AIDS.

HIV-Related Illness

Any illness that may result from or may be associated with HIV infection.

HIV-Related Test

Any laboratory test or series of tests for any virus, antibody, antigen, or etiologic agent whatsoever thought to cause or to indicate the presence of AIDS or HIV infection.

Protected Individual

A person who is the subject of any HIV-related test or who has been diagnosed as having HIV infection, AIDS, or HIV-related illness.

Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable modifications or adjustments may include making existing facilities used by employees and students readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; job restructuring; part-time modification of equipment or devices; appropriate adjustment or modification of examinations, training materials, or policies; the provision of qualified readers or interpreters; and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

Release of Confidential HIV-Related Information

A written authorization for disclosure of confidential HIV-related information that is signed by the protected individual or, if the protected individual lacks capacity to consent, a person authorized pursuant to law to consent to health care for the individual. Such release shall be dated and shall specify to whom disclosure is authorized, the purpose for such disclosure, and the time period during which the release is to be effective. A general authorization for the release of medical or other information shall not be construed as a release of confidential HIV-related information, unless such authorization specifically indicates its dual purpose as a general authorization and an authorization for the release of confidential HIV-related information.


A person in a position that involves responsibility for others, including but not limited to manager, work supervisor, department head, and dean. Campus Resources

AIDS Education and Policy Committee

This committee is responsible for establishing college policies and procedures and overseeing the college's educational efforts in relation to AIDS issues. The committee works closely with the Action for AIDS to increase awareness and provide education to prevent further spread of AIDS. The working group coordinates the efforts of various campus offices, groups, and individuals in this educational endeavor. The committee and its working group will also be the primary body to interpret and apply the American College Health Association (ACHA) guidelines to the Ithaca College community in areas to include general institutional policies, housing policies, educational methods, antibody testing, confidentiality, etc.

Action for AIDS

This group is responsible for undertaking the daily work of coordinating and developing educational programs or studying fully all the issues for the campus related to AIDS. This group carries out the bulk of the work of the AIDS Education and Policy Committee and reports to it on a regular basis. The primary charge of the group is to provide education on AIDS within the context of College policy. Crucial context areas are covered in educational efforts including:

  1. providing accurate and up-to-date information about AIDS,
  2. presenting clear and explicit information on what behavior can transmit the virus, and
  3. seeking to reduce the attitudes of disregard, blame, or prejudice that rise toward groups that have thus far been hit by the epidemic. AIDS training for college supervisors may be done by this committee.

College Disability Services

The director of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity and the coordinator of academic support services for students with disabilities are the college representatives designated to ensure that students are provided with reasonable accommodations upon request. An employee's supervisor or faculty member's dean is responsible for workplace accommodation and may consult with the director of benefits in the Office of Human Resources.

Campus Resource Contact Phone Numbers







Confidentiality/Medical Records

Director, Health Services


HIV/AIDS Confidential Testing

Hammond Health Center


HIV/AIDS Related Counseling

Hammond Health Center


Counseling Center


Disability Services/
Academic Accommodations

Director of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity


Coordinator, Academic Support Services



Confidentiality/Medical Insurance Records

Director of Benefits


HIV/AIDS Related Counseling Referrals

Director of Benefits


HIV/AIDS Related Medical Case Management

Aetna Case Management




HIV/AIDS Confidential Testing

Primary Care Physician


Tompkins County Department of Health

607-274-6674 or 607-274-6683

Director of Benefits


Workplace Accommodation

Supervisor, Dean or Director


Director of Benefits


Director of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity


Medical Coverage, Disability Benefits, Workers' Compensation

Benefits Department



Emergency Situation

Public Safety



Director of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity


Office of Judicial Affairs (students)


Guidelines for Handling Blood, Blood Products and Bodily Fluids

Environmental Health & Safety Division


HIV/AIDS Education

Hammond Health Center


AIDS Education and Policy Committee


Action for AIDS


Off Campus AIDS Resources

Southern Tier AIDS Program

800-333-0892, 607-273-6280

AIDS Work, Inc., Southern Tier

607-272-4098 Ithaca College Residence Policy on AIDS

HIV is not transmitted by any form of casual contact. No evidence supports the existence of any risk of transmission to household or residential contacts. Therefore, Ithaca College will not exclude students with AIDS, HIV-related illness, or a positive HIV test from residential housing.

AIDS-Related Housing/Campus Procedures


General educational efforts should attempt to encourage persons with AIDS, HIV-related illness, or a positive HIV test to inform the College Health Center about their condition, with the understanding that such information will be regarded as protected, confidential medical information.


In turn, the Health Center will take responsibility to inform immunocompromised students about highly contagious diseases that may be of particular danger to them and to identify and provide consultation regarding protective measures to reduce the risk of contracting such diseases.


Information about highly contagious diseases, (e.g., meningitis) may also be disseminated to the broader residence hall community by residential life staff without the staff's needing to know if any student is infected with HIV. Such general advisories are important because some infected students have not identified themselves to Health Center personnel.


In the event of spreading of a rumor that a student or students allegedly have AIDS, AIDS-related illness, or a positive HIV test, residential life staff should confront those individuals involved in this activity and remind them of the Ithaca College Policy on AIDS and the potential harm of spreading rumors to both the target and the community. Any action determined to be a violation of the Ithaca College Student Conduct Code, including but not limited to an action that is harassing or intimidating or a violation of the statements on personal respect and safety and/or freedom from discrimination, should be confronted, documented, and processed judicially. At no time should residential life staff spread rumors.


The director of health services is designated as the person to respond to inquiries from parents about students on campus known or suspected to have AIDS, HIV-related illness, or a positive HIV test.


If a student has shared information with a roommate or other resident about having AIDS, HIV-related illness, or a positive HIV test, or if a student is reacting to a rumor of this information, the concerned party or parties should be directed to the residence director for that area. The residence director will review College policies related to AIDS, HIV-related illness, or a positive HIV test, as well as provide resources for concerned roommates/residents, including education and the availability of counseling services. Unless otherwise directed by the student in question, residential life staff will honor the privacy and confidentiality of any student's medical condition.


Depending on the particular medical and social circumstances involved, it may be appropriate to provide, when requested by an HIV-infected student, special housing arrangements. Those who are immunocompromised may be offered the option of separate (i.e. single) living quarters or a room to accommodate a caregiver. Ithaca College Policy on HIV/AIDS and Athletics

To date, there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission during athletic activity. Based on current medical and epidemiological information, HIV infection alone is insufficient grounds to prohibit athletic competition. The decision not to restrict student-athletes (hereafter referred to as "athletes") merely because they are infected with HIV is supported by the joint position statement of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and the American Academy for Sports Medicine (AASM), as well as the position statements of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the United States Olympic Committee, and the American College Health Association (ACHA). The risk of contracting HIV during the course of athletic activity is extremely low.

In accordance with these position statements, Ithaca College supports the conclusion that the risk of contracting HIV during athletic activity is extremely low and believes that mandatory HIV testing for intercollegiate athletes is not justified, particularly in light of the fact that no cases of HIV transmission during athletic competition have been documented. Furthermore, mandatory testing of athletes would fail to decrease the small risk of HIV transmission during athletic activity. Risk of HIV infection is more closely associated with behaviors external to sports competition. Educational programs about the traditional routes of HIV infection will teach athletes how to prevent HIV infection by acting responsibly and will also promote good health practices. Voluntary HIV testing is available to any student who might be at risk for HIV infection and can be arranged through the campus Health Center.

In accordance with Ithaca College's policy regarding the rights and privacy of individuals, members of the College community should take care to respect the confidentiality of information concerning athletes with AIDS, HIV-related illness, or a positive HIV test. The decision to disclose information related to this particular aspect of an athlete's medical history should remain a privilege of the infected individual, and it is of paramount importance that a strict policy of confidentiality be followed. Adherence to this policy helps limit the risk of discrimination against those with AIDS, HIV-related illness, or a positive HIV test.

Eligibility of an HIV-infected athlete to participate in athletics should be determined with the same procedures and standards used for all other athletes. The decision whether an athlete with AIDS, HIV-related illness, or a positive HIV test can continue to participate in athletics should be based on the athlete's current health status and should be make by the athlete and the athlete's physician. Regular medical checkups are recommended for the HIV-infected athlete to ensure the best health of the athlete and continued participation in sports.

The above policy is based on the best currently available medical facts regarding HIV/AIDS and will be revised if new information warrants. Governing Statutes Related to HIV Infection and AIDS

As disabilities, HIV infection and AIDS are within the scope of several applicable laws that prohibit discrimination based on disability. These laws include, but are not limited to, the following:

New York State Public Health Law, Article 27-F

Covers HIV and AIDS related information including HIV-related testing, confidentiality, and disclosure.

Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 104

Prohibits discrimination based upon disability in federally-assisted programs, including those at post-secondary educational institutions.

New York State Executive Law Article 15

Covers AIDS and makes it illegal to discriminate against people with HIV infection, HIV disease or AIDS, or those perceived to have or be associated with these conditions.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Outlines the legislative history and the regulations state that persons with AIDS, HIV-related illness or a positive HIV test result are protected under the ADA.

Federal Civil Rights Act of 1991

Provides appropriate remedies for intentional discrimination and unlawful harassment in the workplace.

Last Updated: June 1, 2008