HIV / AIDS Policy
Acknowledging the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa, but accepting at the same time that there is a great deal that can be done to influence the course thereof, Collegiate Girls’ High School is committed to minimising the social, economic, developmental and educational consequences of AIDS on the school, its learners and its staff.
This policy seeks to contribute towards promoting effective prevention and care within the context of this school’s environment, and it is premised on the acceptance that:
1.1 It is impossible to know with certainty who has HIV/AIDS and who does not, given the nature of the condition and the capacity of medical testing.
1.2 While there are no readily available statistics on the transmission of HIV in schools, there could be learners and/or staff with HIV/AIDS in our school.
1.3 The above notwithstanding, current scientific evidence suggests that, provided universal precautions are adhered to, adequate wound management takes place and there is strict adherence to universal precautions under all circumstances in the school, the risk of HIV transmission during teaching, sport and play activities is insignificant.
1.4 There is no risk of transmission from saliva, sweat, tears, urine, respiratory droplets, handshaking, swimming pool water, toilets, food or drinking water.
1.5 HIV cannot be transmitted through day-to-day social contact.
2. NON-DISCRIMINATION, EQUALITY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
In terms of national policy and the law:
2.1 Learners with HIV/AIDS should lead as full a life as possible and not be denied the opportunity of receiving an education to the maximum of their capacity to benefit therefrom.
2.2 Likewise, educators and non-educator employees with HIV/AIDS should lead as full a professional life as possible.
2.3 There should be no unfair discrimination practised against any group, directly or indirectly, including the express indication that no learner, educator or non-educator staff member may be discriminated against with regard to admission or appointment on account of his or her HIV/AIDS status or perceived HIV/AIDS status.
2.4 While no learner, educator or non-educator employee is compelled to disclose his or her HIV/AIDS status to the school, voluntary disclosure of HIV/AIDS status to the appropriate authority is encouraged.
2.5 Legally, absolute confidentiality must be ensured during disclosure and after disclosure, and unfair discrimination as a result of disclosure will not be tolerated. The information disclosed may not be shared with anyone else.
3. CREATING A SAFE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
3.1 Infection-control measures and adaptations must be universally applied and carried out in the school by all learners and employees, regardless of the known or unknown HIV status of individuals concerned.
3.2 In accordance with the above, the school has adopted the following specific strategies and pre-cautions to eliminate the risk of transmission of all blood-borne pathogens (BBP), including HIV:
3.2.1 Blood, especially in large spills such as from nosebleeds, and old blood or bloodstains, should be handled with extreme caution.
3.2.2 Skin exposed accidentally to blood must be washed immediately with soap and running water.
3.2.3 Skin that has been broken by biting or scratching must be washed, cleaned with antiseptic and covered with a waterproof dressing.
3.2.4 All bleeding wounds, sores, breaks in the skin, grazes and open skin lesions must be cleaned immediately with running water and/or other antiseptics and covered with non-porous or waterproof dressing and kept covered.
3.2.5 Blood splashes to the face should be flushed with running water for at least three minutes.
3.2.6 Disposable bags or sanitary bins must be made available to dispose of sanitary wear.
3.2.7 Latex gloves must be worn during the treatment or management of bleeding.
3.2.8 Any surface contaminated by body fluids must be cleaned with running water and bleach.
3.2.9 Blood-contaminated material must be sealed in a plastic bag and disposed of appropriately. (Tissues and toilet paper may readily be flushed down a toilet.)
3.2.10 First aid kits must be kept in strategic places around the school. These kits must be accessible at all times.
3.2.11 All classrooms / teaching areas must have a pair of latex / rubber gloves.
3.2.12 First aid kits must be kept in vehicles transporting learners on outings and tours.
3.2.13 Players with open or bleeding wounds must be removed from the sports field until they have been treated and the bleeding must be stopped before they return.
3.2.14 Blood stained clothing must be removed.
4. EDUCATION ON HIV/AIDS
Learners at Collegiate Girls’ High School will be educated regularly on HIV within the Life Orientation and Life Science syllabi and from time to time with special events/programmes.
Collegiate Girls’ High School will encourage learners infected with HIV/AIDS or who have infected family members to avail themselves of the services of the school counsellors.