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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives Federal civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.
An individual is considered to have a "disability" if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment. Persons with HIV disease, either symptomatic or asymptomatic, have physical impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities and thus are protected by the ADA.
Persons who are discriminated against because they are regarded as being HIV-positive are also protected. For example, the ADA would protect a person who is denied an occupational license or admission to a school on the basis of a rumor or assumption that he has HIV or AIDS, even if he does not.
Protecting the Rights of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (HTML) | (PDF) A tri-fold pamphlet explaining the rights of persons with HIV/AIDS under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the requirements of the ADA for employers, businesses and non-profit agencies that serve the public, and State and local governments to avoid discriminating against persons with HIV/AIDS. (September 2015)
Advanced Cosmetic Surgery of New York -- re: plastic surgeon’s refusal to provide service to a patient because the patient has HIV
Dentex Dental Mobile, Inc. -- re: discriminatory denial of dental care due to HIV and improper referral of a patient with HIV by mobile dental clinic in violation of Title III of the ADA
Genesis Healthcare System -- re: primary care physician's discriminatory denial of care due to HIV and improper referral of patients with HIV in violation of title III of the ADA
Best Practices Guide to Reform HIV-Specific Criminal Laws to Align with Scientifically Supported Factors -- A guide to provide technical assistance to states that wish to re-examine their HIV-specific criminal laws to ensure that existing policies do not place unique or additional burdens on individuals living with HIV/AIDS and that these policies reflect contemporary understanding of HIV transmission routes and associated benefits of treatment.
Settlement Agreement regarding forcing student with HIV to withdraw from a college medical assistant program.
Prevalence and Public Health Implications of State Laws that Criminalize Potential HIV Exposure in the United States -- A journal article, co-authored by the Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention