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DOJ Tells State Licensing Boards and Occupational Training Schools That It Is Illegal to Bar People With HIV

HIV Advocacy Groups That Urged DOJ to Issue the Guidelines Praise the Agency for its Leadership

July 17, 2009

Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a new fact sheet yesterday informing state licensing boards and occupational training schools -- and the general public -- that it is a violation of the Americans for Disabilities Act to bar people with HIV from professions such as barbering, massage therapy and home health care assistance. The new guidelines were issued in response to requests from AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, the American Civil Liberties Union, The Center for HIV Law and Policy, Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders and Lambda Legal.

"The DOJ has sent a loud and clear message to the state licensing boards and occupational training schools that HIV discrimination won't be tolerated," said Catherine Hanssens, Executive Director of The Center for HIV Law and Policy. "Even this late into the HIV epidemic, we continue to hear from people who are being barred from professions out of fear and ignorance about how HIV is spread. We are grateful for DOJ's leadership in helping to end this irrational discrimination."

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See Also
DOJ Fact Sheet: The Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rights of Persons With HIV/AIDS to Obtain Occupational Training and State Licensing
More on HIV/AIDS-Related Discrimination Cases

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Renee (Dallas, TX) Sun., Aug. 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm EDT
Thanks for posting news such as this! My son was just recently told by his massage school that he could only perform massage on friends and family because of "his condition". After he challenge this directive, he was then told it was okay to perform massages on clients but he would have to wear gloves and the client would have to be informed! Can you believe these people? How stupid.
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Comment by: Eddie (NW Minnesota) Wed., Jul. 22, 2009 at 11:44 pm EDT
The first job of the DOJ in this area should be correcting the policies of the FAA regarding licensing of commercial pilots. A HIV+ pilot has a legal uphill battle against the FAA, a fight he or she usually loses due to costs of litigation.
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