INTRODUCTION

The HIV/Aids infection has reached epidemic proportions and will therefore drastically impact on all sectors of the South African community. It is imperative for Sir John Adamson High School to adopt a policy to serve as a guideline for combatting the infection. This policy, which is according to the National Education Policy Act of 1996, protects the rights of all the stake holders in the school environment and also strives to provide a safe school environment for all.

HIV /AIDS PROGRAMMES

  • EDUCATION AND AWARENESS PROGRAMMES
    • The school is committed to providing relevant instruction in order to prevent the spreading of the disease as well as to provide procedures for facing its presence. Since prevention is better than cure educators are to inculcate values and attitudes in learners which will enable them to resist pressure from peers and society which encourages pre-marital sex. Programmes are also aimed at empathic and non-discriminatory behaviour towards people with the condition.
    • In ensuring a safe school environment the standard infection-control measures (also known as universal precautions) are to be taught during Life Skills periods. They are as follows:
      • Blood must be handled with extreme caution.
      • Bleeding wounds must be cleaned under running water and covered.
      • Latex gloves (or plastic packets where gloves are not available) must be worn when attending to a wound.
      • Blood contaminated material must be incinerated.
      • Instruments, e.g. scissors, must be sterilized for at least an hour before re-use.
      • All learners, educators, sports coaches and other staff must be given appropriate information and training on HIV transmission and the application of universal precautions.
      • Learners must be trained never to touch blood or wounds on other children.
      • If bleeding occurs during contact play or contact sport the player may only resume playing when the bleeding has stopped and the wound is securely covered.
    • Topics related to HIV / Aids are to be incorporated in subject teaching. Posters and newspaper clippings should also be displayed in classrooms.
    • External speakers are to be contacted to address the school on HIV/Aids.
  • SBST COMMITTEE
    • The school’s SBST Committee will be responsible for the formulation, reviewing and implementation of the HIV/Aids policy. This committee will liaise with the Principal and Governing body in matters pertaining to HIV/Aids. All treatment of injuries and wounds are to be referred to the First Aid team.
  • STAFF ISSUES
    • Fair treatment for educators with HIV/Aids.
    • Educators with HIV/Aids have the same rights, duties and responsibilities as other educators, they cannot be denied the right to teach or to be promoted.
    • Their disease should be treated in all respects like other comparable life-threatening conditions.
    • There will be non-discriminatory policies in the provision of educator benefits and existing leave conditions apply.
    • If they become unfit for normal duties the principal should endeavour to find an alternate position within the Gauteng Department of Education.
    • If they become too ill to continue employment they may be “boarded” with early retirement on pension without penalty and with up to five added years of pensionable service.
  • LEARNER ISSUES
    • Fair treatment for learners with HIV/Aids.
    • Learners cannot be denied admission and have the same right to education as every other child.
    • They should attend classes as long as they can function effectively and do not present a medically significant health risk. When they are unable to attend, work should be sent home for them.
    • Where there is neurological damage or HIV/Aids related behaviour problems attempts should be made to advise parents about the availability of specialised residential institutions.
    • Care should be taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as chicken pox and measles.
    • Information about inoculation programmes and their significance for the well-being of learners with HIV/Aids should readily be available.
    • HIV / Aids sufferers have a constitutional right not to be discriminated against in any way.
    • Learners with HIV/Aids have a legal right to confidentiality and are under no obligation to inform the school of their condition.
  • SAFETY ISSUES
    • When practical work is undertaken in laboratories and centres, or when physical activity is taking place, precautions need to be taken to ensure the safety of the other learners, educators or any person who needs to administer first aid as follows:
      • In NS or Life Science lessons there may be no practical work involving the use of human blood e.g. microscope study, testing of blood types, etc.  Purchased permanent slides of human blood may be used.
      • During dissections or any practical work involving sharp instruments, knives, glassware, saws, etc. safety procedures need to be reinforced to avoid accidents.
        • In the event of a wound with blood, no first aid may be administered without protective gear being worn by the person administering first aid, e.g. latex gloves or a CPR mouthpiece.
        • During a team sport activity, any learner who is bleeding must be withdrawn from the game until the bleeding has been controlled.