HIV-Positive Nevada Man Files Complaint After Mobile Home Park Prohibits Him From Using Pool
August 13, 2003
An HIV-positive Nevada man has filed a complaint with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development against Carefree Country Mobile Home Park in Clark County, Nev., where he lives, after the park earlier this year sent him a letter saying that state law prohibits him from using the park's swimming pool because he is HIV-positive, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Hutchison and Steffen, the law firm representing Carefree, sent Ralph Torres a letter claiming that Nevada Administrative Code states that no one with a "communicable disease" may use a public swimming pool and that the Nevada State Health Division defines HIV/AIDS as a communicable disease. Torres says that he has been threatened with eviction if he uses the pool and has received anonymous, threatening phone calls at his home since going public with his story. "I want a public apology," Torres said. Randall Todd, Nevada's state epidemiologist, said that the lawyers seem to have misinterpreted state regulations. He added that the portion of the regulation quoted by Carefree's lawyers is meant to refer only to communicable diseases that can be transmitted through water. There is no evidence that HIV can be contracted from a swimming pool, according to the CDC. The state Board of Health plans to clarify the issue at its next meeting, Todd said. "Carefree Country Mobile Home Park does not unlawfully discriminate," Hutchison and Steffen said in a press release, adding, "If the park obtains reliable authority stating that a person with AIDS and/or hepatitis B or C poses no risk to other tenants when swimming in the pool, and doing so would not violate Nevada law or county ordinances or policies, Carefree will allow Mr. Torres -- or others with his medical conditions -- to use the pool." Torres said, "Justice will prevail one way or another. I'm not going to stop until I win" (Lake, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/11).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.