Blood-Borne Viruses

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To outline how schools deal with blood-borne viruses (BBV). BBV's include:

  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Policy

Schools must:

  • protect the privacy of students who have a BBV
  • avoid any form of discrimination of students with a BBV
  • provide BBV prevention education as part of the health education program in line with the Victorian Essential Learning Standards.

See: Other resources

Risk of infection

The Department of Human Services advises as long as basic hygiene, safety, infection prevention and control and first aid procedures are followed:

  • risks of contracting blood borne viruses are negligible
  • staff have a duty to provide first aid to students or other staff with a BBV in the classroom, physical education and sports settings and on school grounds.

Privacy

The BBV status of a student is a private matter between a student and his/her family doctor. When parents/guardians report the BBV status to the principal, the principal must:

  • respect the student's confidentiality
  • keep the information from being accessible from others without:
    • parent/guardian consent
    • student consent, if appropriate.

Note: the above privacy principles also apply to school staff.

See: Information Privacy within Related policies

Discrimination

The Equal Opportunity (Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation) Act 2000 protect students from victimisation or discrimination based on BBV infection. Examples of discrimination include:

  • refusing to enrol the student
  • excluding the student from attendance
  • denying access to school programs or activities
  • failing to protect the student from harassment or victimisation
  • breaching confidentiality related to the BBV status
  • differential application of school rules.

Schools should consult with the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit within the Department of Health with questions or concerns about disclosure or exclusion, see: Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Equal Opportunity (Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation) Act 2000

Other resources

See: