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World AIDS Day 2009
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Lambda Legal Calls for Action in Observance of World AIDS Day

November 30, 2009

"... we call on policy makers at every level to eliminate discriminatory laws and policies."

New York -- In observance of World AIDS Day tomorrow, Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal:

"Lambda Legal's commitment to fighting HIV and AIDS stigma and discrimination began more than twenty-five years ago in 1983 when we filed the nation's first challenge to AIDS discrimination and won a court order stopping the efforts of neighbors to evict a doctor because he treated HIV-positive patients.

"That commitment remains strong today. People living with HIV have a right to work and live free from discrimination, and laws and policy decisions should be based on sound science rather than fear and bias.

"No one should believe that the epidemic -- or the discrimination -- is over. This year we filed two new lawsuits challenging HIV discrimination. We represent Melody Rose in Wisconsin who was refused gallbladder surgery after she told the surgeon she has HIV. And we filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Robert Franke and his daughter in Arkansas after Dr. Franke was evicted from an assisted living facility because he has HIV.

"Yet some important progress has been made. After years of advocacy, we celebrated the announced end of the travel and immigration ban for people with HIV. We applaud the Obama Administration for its leadership in ending this government -sponsored discrimination against people living with HIV.

"It's long past time to end the stigma and discrimination that people with HIV face in this country. The government should never be in the business of discriminating -- nor should health care providers, employers, or anyone else. We call on policy makers at every level to eliminate discriminatory laws and policies."

This article was provided by Lambda Legal.

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