SCHOOL, COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY
You can choose to tell your school, college or university about your HIV status, but you do not have to. If you do decide to tell them, they should keep it confidential unless you allow them to share this information. Schools are not allowed to treat you negatively, or not give you a place at school because you have HIV. You have a right to an education. If you do decide to tell them, you should plan this, and we have written some further information here about this.
If you are going to be moving somewhere else to start university, talk to your doctor or nurse about this as they can help with your care plans for when you move. You may decide to keep treatment at your current hospital, or move to a hospital near your university, depending on what works for you, and what options are available in your specific clinic. This is something that can be discussed and planned for, so that you know what you are doing ahead of moving, and you know where you need to go to get your blood tests done.
When you attend university, you could be entitled to Disabled Students Allowances (DSA), and support from student services during your study, but if you haven’t listed any health conditions on your original UCAS form, it can be more complicated to get these things in place later, so this is something for you to consider when applying. Speak to your health team about this as well, as they may have some experience of supporting young people through this process. Some clinics we have spoken to have said they have good relationships with the local universities and their welfare teams so they already understand about young people living with HIV and the type of support you may require. For more information on Disabled Students Allowance, visit here. There are some FAQ’s relating to support for disabled students from UCAS here.
Chiva ran some online student support groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the sessions had a guest speaker from Ability.Net, who do some of the Disabled Students Allowance assessments. See the slides here: Ability.Net Presentation – What are DSAs?
The below leaflet, produced by NCB, has information about your rights, and preparing to go to college/university.