Policy Manual

Administrative Guidelines Related to Immunodeficiency Virus

The University of Pennsylvania recognizes the impact of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV, or AIDS virus) on staff employees, both as regards the safety of the work environment and in terms of potential infection. The University recognizes its responsibility to establish guidelines, based upon prevailing medical and legal information, for employment activities within the Institution.


1a.) Employees with HIV infection AIDS, or a positive HIV antibody test, whether symptomatic or not, will be allowed unrestricted employment activities as long as they are mentally and physically able to perform their job duties in a manner that does not pose a health or safety risk to themselves or to others. When action is necessary the Supervisor will attempt reasonable accommodation of such employees and will consult with the Staff Relations area of Human Resources and, when appropriate, the University's Affirmative Action Office. Every attempt will be made to render a well-informed judgment grounded in a careful and open-minded weighing of all available alternatives.

1b.) The University does not require any mandatory testing of an employee for the HIV antibody. Employees with HIV infection will not be restricted from access to instructional, recreational, dining, or other common areas, facilities or equipment.

1c.) The presence of HIV infection will not alter the employment decision for anyone applying to work at the University except for those jobs for which available medical evidence indicates health risk to the public.

1d.) If an employee develops HIV infection, the University will permit the employee to continue to work so long as such employee is able to perform his or her job, except for those jobs for which available medical evidence indicates a health risk to the
public. Each case will be considered on an individual basis. The University will extend the same sick leave and benefits as may be applicable under the relevant University policies.

1e.) The University encourages regular medical follow-up for HIV infected employees. Any employee may obtain medical evaluation, counseling and testing at the Immunodeficiency Program offered at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania by the Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania (by appointment).

1f.) University Administrators, Supervisors and other employees shall conduct themselves with compassion and understanding in making work-related decisions regarding an employee with HIV infection.

1g.) The number of persons in the University who are aware of the existence and/or identity of HIV-infected employees should be kept to a minimum to protect the confidentiality and the right to privacy of the infected person and to avoid unnecessary fear and anxiety within the work environment.

1h.) The University recognizes that there are medical reasons to advise employees when a co-worker has HIV infection. No employee is authorized, therefore, to reveal that a co-worker has HIV infection. Issues of a safe work environment will be dealt with by cooperative educational training programs, the dates of which will be published in the Training Calendar.

1i.) No employee who actually has or is suspected of having HIV infection, shall be subjected to emotional, verbal and/or physical abuse by another employee. Any such action is condemned as a matter of policy, will not be tolerated, and is
grounds for discipline.

1j.) The presence of an individual who has HIV infection in a department or work area, standing alone, shall not be the basis for the reassignment of any other employee.


The University will observe any public health reporting requirements for HIV infection.

Policy Number: 712
Effective Date: 2/1/1990
Supersedes Policy Number(s): N/A
Applicability: All University Employees
Cross-reference:  Policy 001Policy 004Policy 201

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