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HIV and Nursing School
Jan 18, 2012

I have HIV and have been accepted into an LPN program. The "physical" portion I am to have my doctor fill out specifically asks if the student has any infectious diseases or if the student has had any serious illnesses in the past as well as what meds (if any) is the student taking and what for. Is this legal? Does my doctor "have" to disclose my HIV status? I've had PCP and K.S. in the past but have a VL of less than 50 and a CD4 count over 200 and have been on meds for over 20 years. Can this institution legally ask these questions in the state of PA? Can I be refused acceptance into this program for being HIV+, legally? I've read where I do NOT have to disclose this information but when the school is directly asking this kind of questioning ... well ... again, does my doctor (or myself) have to disclose this information and is this legal?

Response from Mr. Chambers

According to Pennsylvania law, HIV is not considered an "infectious disease" for licensing purposes:

"Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs has determined that occupational licensing requirements that exclude persons with "infectious disease," "communicable disease" or "contagious disease" from certain occupations, does not include diseases, such as HIV, that are not transmitted through casual contact or through the usual practice of the profession or occupation for which a license is required."

Because you are able to become licensed with HIV, the school should not try to deny you entrance. I would encourage you to check further with Pennsylvania law more closely at this site. this site.

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