Illinois currently reports all students who test positive for HIV/Aids to their school’s principle which is bad enough, but this is especially devastating to our trans youth. Transgender teens and those in their twenties are more likely than any other sub demographic to have HIV/aids according to the CDC. And transgender people with new infections are less likely to acknowledge having HIV/AIDS or to seek treatment even if health care is available.
Compound these factors with the fear a young person would feel of being outed by their principal to whom ever he wants to and the inevitable subsequent rumors, stigmatization and social ostracization. That would make the first step, testing, unlikely.
This should never be the case. Advocates for Youth are taking action.
Students in Illinois need your help to correct an outrageous violation of privacy.
Illinois is the ONLY state in which health authorities are required by law to notify school principals of the names of students that test HIV-positive. Their principals can then disclose the information to any school personnel they like.
A bill before the senate, HB 61, would repeal this invasive and unnecessary requirement.
Urge the Illinois Senate to pass HB 61
Illinois’ disclosure law was written in 1987. Unfortunately, even in 2013, HIV remains highly stigmatized. Sharing students’ HIV status without their permission perpetuates this stigma and could discourage young people from getting tested for HIV. Plus, it is a violation of their right to medical confidentiality. Read more about this dangerous law.
Let’s change this law. Sign the petition and tell the Illinois Senate to pass HB 61.
State Strategies Manager
Advocates for Youth