JHCCA: School Management of Students Infected with Blood-Borne Pathogens such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV)

J: Students

The prospect of students with blood-borne infection attending school raises many issues. The following policy has been developed to support administrators and staff in responding appropriately and effectively when a student has been identified as having such an infection. For the purpose of this document, the term “infection” refers to blood-borne infections that can include but are not limited to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV).

Guidelines were obtained from the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board using the following points.

  • Mandatory disclosure of infection is never required.
  • Disclosure of infection is neither required nor necessary to enhance safety in the school setting. The prudent attitude is to assume that anyone at anytime could be potentially infected with a blood-borne pathogen, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or HIV. Consistent application of infection-control guidelines and universal precautions when caring for injured persons is the most reliable prevention measure. People may be infected but may not have been tested and may not know they have such an infection. Vaccination with Hepatitis B vaccine will greatly reduce the risk of infection from Hepatitis B.
  • A person who trusts in a confidentiality policy is more likely to be tested for a blood-borne pathogen and seek treatment if necessary. Adolescents are particularly concerned about confidentiality.
  • Inappropriate disclosure of a positive blood-borne infection status, especially HIV infection, can lead to harmful stigmatization, discrimination, or hostility in the community.

DMT Responsibility: AS-HR

Cross References: 
IGBG: Homebound (and Hospital) Instruction; JEG: Exclusions and Exemptions from School Attendance and subcodes
Revision Date: 
Aug 1990
Dec 1996
Dec 1998
Feb 1999