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Man Rejected from Cop Job For Being HIV-Positive

Man Rejected from Cop Job For Being HIV-Positive


A man whose job application to the Atlanta police department was rejected because he has HIV went back to court Wednesday in hopes of finally getting the job he wants.

Richard Roe, as he is being identified to protect his identity, applied to be an officer for the Atlanta Police Department in 2006. Prior to his application, Roe was an investigator for the city of Los Angeles, according to the Associated Press.

As reported in the November/December issue of HIV Plus, He found out that he was HIV-positive during a pre-employment medical exam, according to Lambda Legal, the organization providing him with legal assistance. The doctor who administered the exam told Roe that the positive result disqualified him from joining the police department. Roe then sued the department in 2008, citing antidiscrimination protections from two federal laws, the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

The department argued that he could not perform the "essential functions" of a police officer, and the judge ruled in the city's favor, saying that Roe did not prove that he was indeed suitable to be an officer. Now Roe has appealed his case, which is going to a federal appeals court.

"It's shocking and frustrating and very saddening that in 2012 this is still going on," Roe said to the AP. "People are living with HIV and, for the most part, they are living normal lives and productive lives."

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