HIV and Aids
Every learner, educator, non-educator and employee of Welkom High School has the right to privacy. Due to this fact each one of the above will be informed on a regular basis about the dangers of open wounds, how to handle exposed body fluid and how to prevent the virus from spreading.
2. THE LAW
• You do not have to tell your Employer/Principal
• You cannot be fired/expelled
• You have a right to work/or attend school for as long as you are healthy.
• Your employer/Principal may not tell anybody without asking you first.
• Your employer/Principal cannot test you for HIV without asking you first.
• Your employer/Principal cannot ask you whether your sickness is caused by HIV.
• You do not have to take an HIV test when you apply for a job or are employed at a school or admitted to school as a learner.
• An employer/Principal cannot refuse to give you a job/or not allow you to be at school, just because you are HIV positive.
3. CORE PRINCIPLES
When confront with open wounds, the following applies:
• Before treatment make sure that you are protected. Surgical gloves are available in the Reception office, first aid kit and a pair of gloves should always be available in class. This is the educator’s responsibility to make sure that the surgical gloves are always replaced when used and in good working order.
• When gloves are not available let the learner apply pressure on the wound by themselves, until first aid or medical attention arrives. This goes for all injuries in regard to open wounds, including blood related injuries on the sport field. When a learner or employee tells an educator they are HIV positive, the Principal may be informed and must adhere to the law. In this regard the necessary steps for counseling must be followed and all information must be handled as strictly confidential.
The school will undertake to at least once a year plan an HIV/Aids awareness week.
However, educators must continuously, as the opportunity arise in their classes, confront learners with the reality of HIV/Aids and propagate a healthy, morally secure life style in order to protect learners against the disease.
5. WHAT EDUCATORS MUST KNOW AND EXPLAIN TO THE LEARNERS
5.1 What is HIV?
HIV is a germ that gets into your body through semen or vaginal fluids. This happens when you have sex with a person that already has the HIV germ which causes AIDS. If you do not have the HIV germ in your body, you are HIV negative. If you do have the HIV germ in your body you are HIV positive. You still look and feel healthy. The HIV germ works slowly. After 5-10 years the HIV germ makes the body too weak to fight sickness. You get sick often and it takes you a long time to get better. You now have AIDS .
5.2 How is it spread?
• If a mother is HIV positive, she can pass the HIV germ on to her baby – while she is pregnant, when she gives birth and when she breast feeds the baby
• If you share razor blades or share needles
• If you are given infected blood when you have a blood transfusion
• By sharing body fluids like semen, vaginal fluids or blood
5.3 How do I protect myself against HIV and AIDS?
• Choose not to have sex
• Use a condom (not always 100 % safe)
• Only have one partner who does not have the HIV germ (the only way you will know this is if both of you are tested for the HIV germ at a local clinic or hospital)
• If you work with blood always use gloves
• Be aware that you may only have one partner, but they may have had other partners before and they may have been HIV positive
5.4 If you are HIV positive
• Join a support group of people who meet because they have HIV/AIDS
• They can help you as they have similar problems and concerns
• Ask your health worker/start your own group
• Go for regular check-ups
• Anti-retroviral medication stops the HIV germ from multiplying, but DO NOT CURE AIDS
• Anti-retroviral medication brings down the number of HIV germs and helps the immune system to recover.
5.5 Stay healthy even though you are HIV positive
• Eat foods like fruit, marog, samp, maas, pap, yogurt, vegetables, beans, lentils, milk, eggs, fish and brown bread
• Do not smoke or drink alcohol
• Exercise gently a few times a week
• Ask family and friends for support
• Rest and sleep as often as you need to
• Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day
5.6 Wrong ideas – HIV is not spread by
• Touch, shaking hands, hugging, kissing
• Sharing dishes, clothes
• Sweat, coughs, sneezes or crying
• Sharing a house
• Mosquito or spider bites
• Using a pool, shower or bath that has been used by an HIV positive person
5.7 People with AIDS usually get two or more of the following illnesses
• Tuberculosis (TB)
• Diarrhoea, vomiting
• Weight loss
• Fevers and night sweat
• Mouth sores and skin sores
5.8 Caregivers must
• Always wear gloves or put plastic bags over your hands when you come into contact with blood or bodily fluids (blood, diarrhoea, urine)
• Disinfect surfaces, 1 teaspoon of bleach with 1 litre of water
• Iron thick plastic mealie bags together to protect bedding
• Wash soiled clothes and bedding in hot soap and water
• Wash your hands with soap and water if you touch bodily fluids from a person who has HIV/AIDS
5.9 Organisations that work with HIV and AID
• Tel 051-4058817
• Fax 051-4058817
• ATIC – Aids training and Information Centre
• Tel – 051-4058544
• Fax – 051-4058818
• People with HIV need your love and support.
• Treat them the same way as you treat everyone else.