ADA: Justice Department releases technical assistance document on the ADA and persons with HIV/AIDS

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The Department is leading the Federal government’s efforts to strengthen enforcement of civil rights laws as they pertain to individuals with HIV/AIDS, as called for in the President’s July 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy. As part of the Strategy, the Department has committed to increasing outreach to affected communities to educate them about their rights and to uncover discrimination. An updated technical assistance document, Questions and Answers: The Americans with Disabilities Act and Persons with HIV/AIDS (PDF), has been added to The document explains the rights of persons with HIV/AIDS and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for employers, businesses and non-profit agencies that serve the public, and State and local governments to avoid discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS.

This week marks the fourteenth anniversary of the decision in Bragdon v. Abbott, the Supreme Court decision that stated that an individual who has HIV, but is asymptomatic, has a disability within the meaning of the ADA and is entitled to the protections of the statute. Since that time, Congress amended the ADA in 2008, making it easier for people with HIV/AIDS to demonstrate that they are persons with disabilities.

To learn more about the Civil Rights Division’s enforcement activities, please visit our website dedicated to Fighting Discrimination Against People with HIV/AIDS. For more information about the ADA, you may call our toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY), or access the ADA Website at



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About the Blogger

Michele Ohmes

thumbnail image Michele S. Ohmes is an Americans with Disabilities Act specialist and wheelchair user who works with public works departments, facility managers, and contractors. Her design manual — ADA and Accessibility: Let's Get Practical — is available on CD-ROM through the American Public Works Association's Web site. Author's note: Michele & Associates does not render legal advice and has no enforcement authority regarding the ADA or other federal disability-rights legislation.