ADA Blog


ADA Blog #33

We haven’t changed and something is about to be done about it....

Even after 21 years of ADA implementation, people living with HIV/AIDs still face significant discrimination.

It seems that many public and private trade schools for barbering, cosmetology, massage therapy, home health care work and other occupations, as well as state licensing agencies, may be still illegally denying individuals with HIV/AIDS admission to trade schools and/or occupational licenses because of their HIV status. However, because HIV cannot be transmitted by casual contact or by the circumstances present in these occupations, HIV-positive status is irrelevant.

The U.S. Dept. of Justice has sent letters to the attorneys general of all 50 states and U.S. territories asking for their help in addressing the illegal exclusion of individuals with HIV/AIDS from occupational training and state licensing by reviewing their respective jurisdictions’ admission and licensing criteria for trade schools and licensing agencies to identify the existence of any criteria that unlawfully exclude or discriminate against persons with HIV/AIDS, and to take the steps necessary to bring all such programs into compliance with the ADA.

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects persons living with HIV/AIDS. However, this population remains excluded from the workplace, workspace and marketplace because of our own unfounded fears and beliefs we have about people with HIV/AIDS. This might be a good time for employers to review their own policies, practices and procedures to see if they include any eligibility criteria for certain jobs or employment benefits that may screen out or tend to screen out certain people with disabilities. For example: If you have an employee training program that results in granting a certificate for job advancement within your company, a blanket policy denying admission to the certificate program because of his or her disability is not permitted.


This information should not be construed as "legal advice" for a particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject.  Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.