Supporting College Students Living with HIV
Education and medicine: How colleges support students with HIV
College life is not easy with all these long days at classes, home assignments that take all nights, papers, reports, presentations, projects, and extra-curricular activities. Many healthy students cannot cope with this workload, looking for help at college homework websites, and students with HIV have even more difficulties. To all these tasks, they should also struggle with emotional stress and worry about how they will be treated by groupmates.
Luckily, with modern medicine and treatment, entering college for HIV positive students is easy and painless: they can study, live and enjoy the same things and activities as other young people while their health and private information are protected. However, there are still some aspects to pay attention to.
Peculiarities of living with HIV positive student
According to statistics, one in five hundred college students is impacted by this virus. First of all, students should know that their positive HIV status is private and should be protected by the college administration. In fact, a student is even not obliged to provide this data by admission not mentioning registration for classes and other activities like sports, conferences, or help with assignment writing provided by their classmates (however, this information is preferable to be received by college representatives just in case).
When it comes to legal aspects, discrimination, or exposing a person to HIV in public can be considered as a crime. The most part of conscious students who know about the diagnosis will treat their group mates just the same as they treat anyone else. At the same time, colleges try to provide all the necessary support to make HIV students feel safe and comfortable on campus. Most of them require health insurance because:
- Such students need constant medical help during all their lives (unfortunately), and they need to keep visiting physicians and other doctors when studying in college;
- Expensive medications are not affordable by an average college student (their cost can reach up to $2K for thirty capsules without the insurance, while many people require taking several drugs during the day).
Even if students don`t have insurance (or it covers not all their medical needs), they can always ask the college administration for help. There are many programs (like the one of Ryan White) that support and offer medical care options for students suffering from HIV. Now over half of the infected people in the US are taking the help of similar services offered by volunteer organizations.
Recommendations on living with HIV groupmates
The common recommendation for students with positive HIV status is to take good care of their health, eat well (preferably, balanced meals with all vitamins), perform exercises (or take part in one of college sports teams), sleep at least eight hours a day, and try to avoid stressful situations. Being vaccinated the right way, attending a doctor regularly, and informing your sexual partners about your status makes you an ordinary young student that should be treated respectfully.
There is lots of information spread by college campuses on this topic, and the main point is that receiving an education is vital, and there is nothing to be afraid of. Meanwhile, other students are explained how HIV can be passed to other people and how they can reduce this risk. With a better idea of how this works, they are less likely to discriminate their HIV positive classmates and communicate with them with more support and respect.