Laws Protect People Living with HIV/AIDS
If you are living with HIV/AIDS, you are protected against discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Under these laws, discrimination means that you are not allowed to participate in a service that is offered to others, or you are denied a benefit, because of your HIV disease.
For more information, see the Office of Civil Rights’ Civil Rights: HIV/AIDS.
Both Section 504 and the ADA prohibit discrimination against qualified persons, including those with HIV/AIDS. Section 504 prohibits health and human service providers or organizations that get Federal funds or assistance from discriminating against you because you are living with HIV/AIDS. The ADA also protects your family and friends from discrimination because of YOUR HIV status.
Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination by state and local government entities, even if they don’t get Federal funding. Examples of entities that may be covered by Section 504 and the ADA include hospitals, clinics, social services agencies, drug treatment centers, and nursing homes. Again, under these laws, discrimination means that you are not allowed to participate in a service that is offered to others, or you are denied a benefit, because of your HIV disease.
For more information, see OCR’s Your Rights Under Section 504 and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) also enforces the Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which protects the privacy of your health information and gives you the right to review and make corrections to your medical records. For more information, see OCR’s Health Information Privacy, Civil Rights, or How to File a Complaint.
Legal Issues for Women
If you are a woman living with HIV/AIDS, you may face particular challenges around discrimination—but there are things you can do to protect yourself. For more information, see the Office on Women’s Health’s Women and HIV: Your Rights.
Fact Sheets & Print Materials
- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) - HIV/AIDS-Related Stigma and Discrimination: A Conceptual Framework and an Agenda for Action
This paper offers a new way of thinking about how stigma and discrimination relate to HIV/AIDS and about potential ways to reduce their impact.
- Office for Civil Rights - Fact Sheet: Your Rights as a Person with HIV Infection or AIDS
- Office for Civil Rights - Your Rights Under Section 504 and the Americans With Disabilities Act
- Office for Civil Rights - Your Health Information and Privacy Rights
- Office for Civil Rights - Privacy and Your Health Information
- Office for Civil Rights - Health Information Privacy Complaint Form Package
- Office for Civil Rights - Información sobre su salud: Derecho a la confidencialidad
- Office for Civil Rights - Queja Por Violación a La Privacidad de la Información Médica
Related Topics on AIDS.gov
Last revised: 06/01/2012