HIV-Positive Children

AUGUST 1989

BE IT RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges that federal, state, and local law, and the policies of private entities concerning the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) should be consistent with the following principles:

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J. PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION

J.1. A student should not be excluded from school because of known or perceived HIV status.

J.2. A student should not be separated from his or her classmates because of known or perceived HIV status unless:

-- The student has presented behaviors which under current medical knowledge present a substantial and genuine risk of HIV transmission;

-- School authorities have made reasonable efforts to provide counseling and training directed toward preventing risk behaviors or have determined that such efforts are unlikely to succeed;

-- Appropriate consideration has been given to the psychological and educational effects of the separation on the individual student;

-- The particular form of separation is the least restrictive means of effectively reducing the risk of HIV transmission;

-- School authorities periodically evaluate all relevant factors regarding the continuing need for separating the student from his/her classmates; and

-- A program is designed to train the student to join the general school population.

J.3. All school system should adopt appropriate policies and curricula regarding the education of all students, staff and parents regarding HIV.

J.4. School authorities should afford maximum confidentiality to a student's HIV status.

K. CHILD WELFARE

K.1. Foster care and adopting agencies should not routinely test children for HIV. Agency decision to test a child should be made on a case-by-case basis and should be governed by written criteria that are consistent with generally accepted public health recommendations.

K.2. The HIV status of adoptive or foster children should be afforded maximum confidentiality protection, but should be disclosed to foster care or adoptive parents.

K.3. Foster care and adoption agencies should provide HIV-related services to children under their jurisdiction consistent with the goal of providing appropriate services in the least restrictive setting.

K.4. Foster care and adoption agencies shall consider the HIV status of foster care or adoptive parents only to the same extent as other medical conditions are considered.

L. FAMILY LAW

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L.2. HIV status should be considered only in the same manner as other medical conditions in...determining child custody and visitation.
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