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ADA.gov/HIV: Fighting Discrimation Against People with HIV/AIDS

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.

What's New?

United States v. Town of Clarksville, Indiana Complaint -- On April 25, 2022, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the Town of Clarksville, Indiana for violating Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, alleges that the Town’s police department unlawfully revoked a job offer to a qualified law enforcement officer based on his Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) diagnosis. The department's suit asks the court to order Clarksville to take various corrective actions including revising relevant policies, appropriately training relevant personnel, and paying compensatory damages to the aggrieved individual whose offer was unlawfully withdrawn. (4/25/22)

United States v. Dr. Chibuike Anucha, MD, PC Consent Decree -- Alleged discrimination against an individual with HIV by OB/GYN doctor who refused to provide routine medical services.  The consent decree requires the doctor to pay $37,500 to the complainant and a $5,000 civil penalty, take (and provide his staff with) training on the ADA and the OB/GYN care of patients with HIV, implement a non-discrimination policy, and provide reports to the department. (2/17/22)

United States v. Dr. Umaima Jamaluddin, MD Consent Decree -- Alleged discrimination against an individual with HIV by OB/GYN doctor who refused to provide routine medical services.  The consent decree requires the doctor to pay $37,500 to the complainant and a $5,000 civil penalty, take (and provide her staff with) training on the ADA and the OB/GYN care of patients with HIV, implement a non-discrimination policy, and provide reports to the department. (2/17/22)