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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Justice Department Releases New Fact Sheet on the Rights of Persons with HIV or AIDS to Obtain Occupational Training and State Licensing

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today released a new technical assistance fact sheet on legal requirements relating to admitting individuals with HIV or AIDS to occupational training schools and granting state licensure in occupations such as barbering, massage therapy and home health care assistance.

Persons with HIV and 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 disease is not communicated through casual contact, excluding individuals with HIV under these licensure requirements is unnecessary and discriminates against these individuals in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This publication is intended to provide guidance for state licensing agencies and occupational training schools so that individuals with HIV or AIDS have an equal opportunity to pursue these occupations.

"People with HIV or AIDS should not be denied access to their chosen profession because of outdated laws or unfounded stereotypes and fears. 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," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

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 http://www.ada.gov.

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