South Carolina Senate Committee Approves Measure Removing Requirement That School Officials Be Notified of Students’ HIV-Positive Status
The South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved a measure (SB 970) to eliminate a requirement that a school superintendent and nurse be notified of students who are diagnosed with HIV, the AP/WISTV reports (AP/WISTV, 2/13).
By law, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control must disclose to school superintendents and nurses if any student is HIV-positive or has been diagnosed with HIV. The agency has been concerned that the requirement violates students' right to privacy. In addition, students might be more likely to receive an HIV test if they are confident their results would remain private, Sen. Brad Hutto (D) said. The measure now moves to the full Senate (The State, 2/13).
South Carolina ranks ninth nationwide in the number of AIDS cases per capita, and more than 15,000 state residents are living with HIV/AIDS. About 800 new cases are diagnosed annually, the AP/WISTV reports (AP/WISTV, 2/13).