Childhood Diseases and Illnesses
HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus / Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
- HIV is caused by a virus which attacks the immune system. Over time, the immune system may grow weak and individuals living with HIV may become sick with different illnesses as the immune system is no longer able to defend the body from infections, diseases or cancers. This advanced stage of the HIV disease is called AIDS.
- HIV is spread when a body fluid containing enough of the virus (blood, semen, vaginal fluids and/or breast milk) enters into the bloodstream of another person (sexual intercourse, sharing needles for tattooing/piercing, sharing drug equipment, mother to child transmission - breast milk).
- HIV is NOT spread by touching, shaking hands, hugging or kissing, coughing and sneezing, giving blood, using public swimming pools or toilet seats, sharing bed linen, eating utensils or food, animal, insect or mosquito bites.
Instructions for Schools
- Needs to be reported to Peel Public Health.
- For reporting cases, complete a Notification of Disease in Schools form (PDF 171KB, 2 Pages).
- Every individual is to be treated with respect and dignity, no matter their HIV status.
- It is important to maintain confidentiality if a student chooses to disclose his or her own or a family member’s status. A breach of confidentiality is required when teachers detect that students plan to hurt themselves or others.
- Teach comprehensive sexuality information, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs), birth control and abstinence and include experiential skill building, such as role plays about relationships.
- An individual living with HIV is required by law to inform any present or past sexual or drug sharing partners of their HIV status.