Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that is not passed from person to person by any form of casual contact. The modes of transmission for HIV are thought to be limited to exchange of body fluids, mainly blood and semen.
AIDS has been found to be caused by the organism labeled “Human Immunodeficiency Virus” or HIV. Persons may simply have a positive antibody test to HIV, in which case they do not have AIDS, they might have ARC (AIDS Related Complex), or they might have progressed on to AIDS.
Casual contact, including shaking hands, hugging, kissing, coughing, sneezing and food handling, does not pass the HIV from person to person. AIDS is not contacted from swimming pools, hot tubs, toilet seats, towels, dishes, other eating utensils, etc. The Centers for Disease Control now report that from the time a person is first exposed to HIV and the time the immunological system makes antibodies to the virus ranges from six months to five years. Prior to this confirmation of the presence of these antibodies the person is considered contagious or able to pass the virus to others.
Even though dramatic progress has been accomplished in HIV and AIDS research, no vaccine or cure is on the foreseeable horizon. Because this disease can be fatal, education is our best weapon. Alma College will provide students, faculty, administrative and support staff with educational programs on AIDS. These programs will be continually updated as information and guidelines are made available.
Last Revision 8/1/2015