The New York Times recently reported that the St. Louis County Department of Health has been investigating claims that as many as 50 students at 1,300-student Normandy Senior High School may have been exposed to H.I.V. According to Stanton Lawrence, superintendent of the Normandy School District, a letter was sent home to parents of the potentially exposed students explaining the situation. Ninety-seven percent of the students at the high school took advantage of free and confidential H.I.V. testing, with results of those tests expected this week.
Lawrence said this was an unprecedented situation.
"We weren't trying to create mass hysteria and panic," he said. "We didn't want to initiate an environment of fear...We didn't have a playbook."
According to health department officials, at least one individual already has tested positive for H.I.V.; the department would not go into detail about how the virus might have been spread.
"We're very limited in what we can release," said Craig LeFebvre, spokesman for the county health department. "We don't feel like we can release anything that would indicate who it was. We don't want witch hunts going on."
For more on this situation:
- read the New York Times article