Report Says HIV-Related Discrimination Is Commonplace
December 31 2003 1:00 AM ET
Discrimination against HIV-positive people is still commonplace, particularly in rural America, according to a report released in November by the American Civil Liberties Union's AIDS Project. 'Discrimination adds to the daily struggles faced by the growing number of people living with HIV in the United States'people who are predominantly poor and disproportionately African-American or Latino,' the report said. Among some of the more egregious examples of HIV discrimination cited in the report were a Nebraska woman forced to wear gloves at her convenience store job, an Arkansas landlord who tore up an apartment application from a prospective tenant, a Florida teacher who informed an entire class of one student's positive serostatus, and a Texas couple denied visitation rights with their children. Many people avoid HIV antibody testing out of fear that they will be subject to these kinds of privacy violations and acts of discrimination, according to the report. 'Stigma and ignorance continue to hound people with this disease,' said ACLU lawyer Leslie Cooper, who helped draft the report.