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Pediatrics. 1992 May;89(5 Pt 1):843-8.

School placement for human immunodeficiency virus-infected children: the Baltimore City experience.

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Baltimore City Health Department, MD.


Over the past 6 years, the city of Baltimore has successfully implemented a school placement policy for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children and children with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Both policy and specific procedures are based on nationally promulgated guidelines. School placement policy is part of an overall AIDS policy that includes education of students and staff and adoption of universal precautions to prevent transmission of communicable diseases in school. Implementation has been marked by excellent collaboration between the departments of health and education. Important policy components include expedited clinical investigation of each case, an interagency review panel, strict protection of confidentiality, a restricted setting for certain children, a school site visit for each placement, and continued monitoring of the school placement by school nurses. Many HIV-infected students need special educational services and/or school health services. The Baltimore City school placement process has avoided the exaggerated publicity endured by some communities, where media reporting has aggravated community fears and invaded the lives of families with HIV-infected children. Baltimore City has succeeded in ensuring access to education, protecting families' confidentiality, and providing special care for HIV-infected students. Local communities should emphasize national guidelines in designing school placement policies for HIV-infected children. School placement policies work best in the context of a comprehensive policy incorporating AIDS education and care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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