Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is launching a new campaign today to reduce discrimination against people who are ‘perceived’ to have HIV – often partners, friends or family of those diagnosed with the condition.
The current Disability Discrimination Act covers people who are diagnosed with the virus but doesn’t protect those who experience discrimination based on the belief or perception by others that they are likely to have HIV. This might include the partners, family members and carers of people with HIV, or those in high risk groups, such as gay men and African migrants.
A number of other countries, including Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Malta, Denmark, Portugal and Spain have recently legislated to prevent discrimination on the grounds of perceived disability.
Rowan Harvey, Parliamentary and Campaigns Officer said “It might sound strange to be trying to reduce HIV discrimination against people who don’t even the virus but actually we hear of many cases where this has happened. Employers and service providers have discriminated against others just because they ‘think’ they have HIV. All HIV discrimination has to stop. Other countries have closed this loophole and so should we.”
THT is hoping to get as many people as possible to sign up to the campaign, those who are interested should go to www.tht.org.uk/campaign where they will be able to send a standard email on this subject to their MP.
The new campaign is one of a number of initiatives being carried as part of the Ensuring Positive Futures partnership, of which Terrence Higgins Trust is a member, to support people living with HIV in the workplace.