HIV positive students could keep that information private

Apr 22, 2013

Students who are HIV positive could keep that information private under a measure before Illinois' General Assembly. 

During the AIDS epidemic of the '80s, Illinois legislators passed a law that requires the state public health department to notify schools with the names of students who are HIV positive.

"I think back then there wasn't a lot of information on HIV."

Senator Iris Martinez, a Chicago Democrat, says times have changed. Now, school personnel are required to take precautions against infection whenever bodily fluids are involved.

Martinez says just like every other disease, it should be up to parents to decide whether to share with a nurse, principal or teacher if their child has HIV. That concerns Republican Senator Jim Oberweis, of Sugar Grove.

"Seems to me like in the best interest of the entire school for that information to, to be available."

A measure lifting Illinois' disclosure requirement already passed the House, and is now advancing in the Senate.