Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New DOJ Info on Rights of People with HIV/AIDS

Last month the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a new technical assistance fact sheet relating to admitting people with HIV/AIDS to occupational training schools and granting state licensure in barbering, massage therapy, and home health care assistance.

People with HIV/AIDS unfortunately still face obstacles in obtaining training and state licensure in these occupations because of overly-broad state licensure requirements that applicants be free of communicable diseases. Because HIV/AIDS is not communicated through casual contact, excluding individuals with HIV/AIDS under licensure requirements is discriminatory and in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The DOJ publication is intended to provide guidance for state licensing agencies and occupational training schools so that individuals with HIV/AIDS have an equal opportunity to pursue these jobs.

"People with HIV or AIDS should not be denied access to their chosen profession because of outdated laws or unfounded stereotypes and fears," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ. "The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is committed to the full and fair enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act."

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in all activities of state and local government entities and by public accommodations. This publication and additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available at the Department’s ADA Web site at

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