AIDS Policy Statement

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a communicable, life-threatening disease with no cure at this time. Recognizing that prevention of infection is the best defense against AIDS, Wellesley College believes its primary response to this health threat should be community education about the disease and ways to avoid infection.

AIDS results from infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV is transmitted to individuals only by intimate sexual contact or by blood contact as with HIV contaminated needles or HIV-containing blood transfusion. Authoritative medical opinion from the United States Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American College Health Association states that there is no risk of acquiring AIDS by ordinary social or occupational contact such as working with, sitting near, or living in the same residence with an HIV-infected person. There is no risk in eating food handled by an infected person, being coughed or sneezed upon by an infected person, or swimming in a pool with an infected person.

Based on these facts, Wellesley College will not tolerate discrimination against any student, faculty member, or employee infected with HIV who is performing his/her usual student or job-related activities. HIV-infected persons have rights as members of the Wellesley College Community. Such persons, however, also have a responsibility to the community and are expected to act in accordance with known medical advice to prevent the spread of infection to others. Infected individuals are encouraged to communicate with the College Health Service in order to receive appropriate medical advice and support. All information regarding HIV infection will be treated in a confidential manner, and recommendations made will be based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, United States Public Health Service, and the American College Health Association.