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Studying with HIV

We're supporting everyone to live, work, and study positively at Warwick.

Being HIV+ can present challenges whilst studying, but the University can support you. The University's HIV Guidelines can be found here, and the programme has collated some key information below for HIV+ students navigating studying with HIV.

Disclosing your HIV status

Students are not required to disclose their HIV status at application, to their personal tutor, or to anyone else at the University, though doing so can facilitate additional support and reasonable adjustments whilst studying here. Key individuals that HIV+ students may wish to consider discussing their status with include their personal tutor and a disability/wellbeing adviser from Wellbeing Support Services. Wellbeing Support Services can offer advice and support in terms of reasonable adjustments and disclosing your HIV status to your personal tutor or others (if you wish to).

Sickness absence & time off for medical appointments

If you need time off from your studies, whether it relates to time off for medical appointments or sickness absence, you should contact your department (such as via your personal tutor or senior tutor). If you need support with this, Disability Services can help you start the conversation with your department. Students are highly encouraged to reach out to Disability Services in advance to discuss any support and adjustments they may need.

Reasonable adjustments

Anyone diagnosed with HIV has the same protection as disabled people under the Equality Act 2010, regardless of their health status. That means protection against harassment and discrimination, as well as the right to request reasonable adjustments to support them in education and training.

Students are encouraged to meet with a disability advisor to discuss any reasonable adjustments that may be helpful. Reasonable adjustments are considered on an individual basis, and once agreed (with the student's permission) the disability team will put forward the adjustments to the student's department(s).

HIV+ students may experience some related physical and mental health symptoms, including side effects of medication which can include tiredness/fatigue, nausea, sleep disturbance and diarrhoea, and thus benefit from reasonable adjustments whilst studying at the University. Reasonable adjustments may include changes to on-campus accommodation (such as a fridge for storage of medication), alternative arrangements such as extra time or rest breaks during exams, or support with flexible deadlines.

Experiences of hate, harassment and discrimination

Everyone at the University of Warwick, whether studying, working, or visiting, has the right to feel safe. The Report & Support team offers advice and support to students in relation to experiences of hate, harassment, bullying, discrimination, sexual misconduct and other forms of violence and abuse. This includes experiences motivated by someone's HIV status (actual or perceived).

Students (and staff) can report hate, harassment or discrimination by contacting Report + Support, though support is not conditional on choosing to make a report and a formal report will not be triggered automatically. There is the option to report anonymously, or to speak to an adviser.

Travelling abroad

The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) offers detailed guidance on travelling with HIV. Your personal tutor, a contact for any relevant scheme involving travel (such as Warwick in Africa) and the Social Inclusion team can support you to complete a bespoke Risk Assessment associated with any travel you may undertake with the University.

Under the University's travel insurance, pre-existing conditions (including HIV) are covered for emergency medical treatment but not routine treatment. This is subject to the traveller not being advised against travelling by their GP/clinician. Being HIV+ does not result in any insurance exceptions, and you are not required to disclose your HIV status.

Support for HIV+ students

All students have access to Wellbeing Support services, who offer therapy, practical support, wellbeing advice, and one-to-one disability support (which includes support for HIV+ students).

The programme is keen to support the creation of an HIV+ Student Network. If you are interested in becoming a founding member of such a network, please contact the programme lead, Sam Parr.

The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) offer an excellent range of support services for HIV+ people in the UK, including groups, counselling, and a helpline.

HIV+ students can also contact their personal tutor, head of department, and/or Claire Algar from the Social Inclusion team for support.

Find out more via our Living Positively project.