The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports legislation and public policy directed toward eliminating any form of discrimination based on whether a child or adolescent is infected with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).
HIV/AIDS in the schools:
All HIV-infected children and adolescents should have the same right as those without the infection to attend school and child care. Infected children and adolescents should receive access to special education and other related services (including home instruction) if their disease progresses and the need arise. The confidentiality of a child or adolescent’s HIV-infection status should be respected, with disclosure given only with the consent of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
HIV/AIDS in sports:
All HIV-infected children and adolescents should be encouraged to participate in sports as much as their health will allow. The confidentiality of a child or adolescent’s HIV-infection status should be respected, with disclosure given only with the consent of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s). In the event of possible exposure to body fluids, universal precautions should be followed, regardless of an athlete’s HIV status.
As the number of HIV-infected children, adolescents, and young adults continues to grow, the AAP supports federal funding for AIDS research and health care services for HIV-infected and affected individuals and their families.
The AAP recommends that information about HIV infection, prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, and HIV antibody testing be routinely provided as part of a comprehensive health care program for pregnant women. Documented, routine HIV antibody testing should be performed for all pregnant women in the United States after notifying them that testing will be performed, unless the patient declines HIV testing (called “opt-out” consent or “right of refusal”). If maternal testing cannot be performed, the infant should be tested using blood antibody testing. The Academy also recommends that routine screening be offered to all adolescents at least once by 16 to 18 years of age in health care settings when the prevalence of HIV in the patient population is more than 0.1%. In areas of lower community HIV prevalence, routine HIV testing is encouraged for all sexually active adolescents and those with other risk factors for HIV.