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Young Adults

HIV is not something that is easy for children or teenagers to face or tell the outside world about. Our legal booklet answers questions related to scenarios like the ones below about testing, who needs to give permission, or who needs to know in school if you are HIV-positive. Please note that on August 16, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed HB 61 into law, which officially repealed Illinois’ discriminatory HIV principal notification law. This is a major victory for Illinois youth and medical privacy advocates.

Illinois had long been the only state with a law mandating that when a state or local health department received a report of an HIV-positive student, that child’s school principal had be notified and he or she could then share this information with “other persons as may be necessary.” For years, AIDS Legal Council fought to repeal this outdated, vague, and discriminatory law. Adolescents are the largest rate of new HIV infections in Illinois, but many refuse testing as they do not want their status to become public knowledge to school officials. This principal notification law stood in direct contrast to the national HIV/AIDS strategy, which emphasizes the importance of testing as a way to reduce transmission. This repeal was long overdue.

If you have any questions or need assistance, call AIDS Legal Council at 312-427-8990. We are here to help you.

The examples below are typical of the cases we have seen.

  • Monique is 15 and she wants to get an HIV test. All her friends tell her that she has to get her parents’ permission, but she wonders if she can get tested on her own.
  • Philip has been HIV-positive since he was born. He’s starting at a new high school in the fall, and he wonders if he has to tell the school about his HIV.
  • Tomas is a high school junior and he wants to try out for the wrestling team. He’s not sure if he will be allowed to wrestle because he has HIV.

Some useful links: