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, South Peninsula 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 difficult to know with certainty who has HIV/AIDS and who does not;
1.2 there are likely to be learners with HIV/AIDS in our school;
1.3 adequate wound management should take place, as well as strict adherence to universal precautions under all circumstances in the school to minimize the risk of HIV transmission during teaching, sport and play activities ;
1.4 there is no risk of transmission from saliva, sweat, tears, urine, respiratory droplets, handshaking, swimming pool water, toilets, food or drinking water; and
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 with HIV/AIDS should lead as full a professional life as possible.
2.3 There should be no unfair discrimination practised against either group, directly or indirectly, including the express indication that no learner or educator 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 or educator 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 Confidentiality must be ensured during disclosure and after disclosure, and unfair discrimination as a result of disclosure cannot be tolerated.
2.6 In the case of disclosure, educators need to have received guidance on handling such disclosure, and be given support to handle confidentiality issues.
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 precautions to minimize the risk of transmission of all blood-borne pathogens (BBP), including HIV, as follows:
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 or plastic bags 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 sent to an appropriate disposal firm. (Tissues and toilet paper may readily be flushed down a toilet.)
3.2.10 Needles and syringes may not be re-used, and must be safely disposed of in an approved ‘sharps’ box, and disposed of by a medical waste company.
3.2.11 First aid kits must be kept in strategic places around the school. These kits must be accessible at all times.
3.2.12 All classrooms / teaching areas must have a pair of latex / rubber gloves.
3.2.13 First aid kits must be kept in vehicles transporting learners on outings and tours.
3.2.14 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.
3.2.15 Blood-stained clothing must be removed.
4 EDUCATION ON HIV/AIDS
4.1 Learners at South Peninsula High School will be educated regularly on HIV.
4.2 This education programme will be reviewed at regular intervals with regard to its content, and will be appropriate to the age of the learners concerned.
4.3 The content of the education programme will include:
4.3.1 The transmission and prevention of HIV.
4.3.2 Avoidance measures, abstinence and protection.
4.3.3 Emphasizing the role of drugs, sexual abuse, violence and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the transmission of HIV.
4.3.4 Empowering learners to deal with these issues.
4.3.5 Developing a culture of non-discrimination towards those living with HIV/AIDS.
4.3.6 Basic first aid principles, including how to deal with bleeding, with the necessary safety precautions.
South Peninsula High School will make it a priority to train selected educators as HIV/AIDS counsellors.
This policy will be revisited regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and appropriate in the light of ongoing research and information about HIV/Aids.