Occupational Training and State Licensing
Trade schools (whether public or private) and state licensing agencies, like employers, cannot discriminate against you on the basis of your disability under state and federal laws. This includes schools for barbering, cosmetology, massage therapy, and home healthcare, which have been known to try to exclude people living with HIV.
In the context of occupational training and/or state licensing, in view of HIV’s accepted modes of transmission, the risk is so low or non-existent it cannot constitute grounds for denying such training or licensing. However, stigma and unfounded fears can pervade.
Examples of this kind of discrimination include:
• a certificate program for health aides having a blanket policy denying admission to anyone with HIV.
• a cosmetology school denying admission to a person with HIV because State cosmetology regulations require that cosmetologists be “free from contagious, communicable, or infectious disease.”
The only exception to this protection is if you pose a significant risk to the health or safety of others in a way that cannot be eliminated or reduced in the context of your training and/or licensing. With the use of universal precautions and other infectious disease control measures, this should very rarely, if ever, be the case. The assessment of this threat cannot be based on any stereotypes or generalizations about your disability. It must be an assessment of your personal disability that relies on current medical evidence.
If you believe a trade school or state licensing agency has discriminated against you because you have HIV, you can file an ADA complaint:
Or with the Office of Civil Rights, US Department of Education
Additional information can be found here:
THE CONTENT FOUND HERE WAS CURRENT AT THE TIME OF WRITING (January 2021). LAWS AND LEGAL PROCEDURES ARE SUBJECT TO FREQUENT CHANGE AND DIFFERING INTERPRETATIONS. YOU SHOULD SEEK THE COUNSEL OF AN ATTORNEY TO RECEIVE LEGAL ADVICE SPECIFIC TO YOUR SITUATION.