Stigma and punishment

More bad news out of Missouri. Windy City Times this week recounts the tragic story of Michael Johnson, above, sentenced to 30 years in prison for HIV transmission. Our Executive Director, Tom Yates, weighs in: “There is no scientific basis for laws that criminalize the transmission of HIV. In addition, criminalization actually undermines effective HIV prevention efforts by discouraging HIV…

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Protecting Legal Rights = HIV Prevention

Last week the United States Department of Justice announced settlements in two cases involving HIV discrimination. In the first case, a podiatrist at Mercy Medical Group Midtown Clinic in Sacramento, California incorrectly told his HIV-positive patient that he could not perform a needed surgery on the man’s foot. The surgeon was afraid he’d contract HIV…

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A Happy Ending

You may recall our client’s debacle last month, when he contacted a large child welfare agency to begin the process of becoming a foster parent — and was told that his HIV status would make that impossible. (If you don’t recall, you can read it here). The child welfare agency had sent him a letter…

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Are They Kidding?!?

It makes us all a bit weary to hear yet another story of blatant discrimination against a person with HIV, but this one just about knocked the floor out from under us. Bob is an award-winning schoolteacher in a northern suburb of Chicago. He recently decided to become a foster parent. So he called one…

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Health Care Reform? How About Health INSURANCE Reform?

A recent case out of South Carolina’s Supreme Court gives a glimpse of just how unfair, unreasonable and downright cold-hearted at least one insurance company can be when dealing with a person with HIV. Here’s what happened, according the court’s ruling. On May 15, 2001, Jerome Mitchell, Jr. of Florence, South Carolina, applied for health…

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Client focus: Sheila

We had a little flashback to 1983 this week, when a client called with a story that seemed to come straight from those days of ignorance and intolerance. Sheila works transporting passengers who need assistance, typically the elderly and disabled. When she started the job about six months ago, she hired a good family friend,…

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