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March 23, 2010

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Increasing Access to Health Care for People Living With HIV: We Need Your Help

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Georgina Verdugo, Director, Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

By Georgina Verdugo, Director, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Earlier this week, OCR entered into a settlement agreement with the Windsor Rosewood Care Center, LLC (WRCC), a Contra Costa County, California nursing home, which agreed to provide individuals living with HIV equal access to its facility, as required by Federal law. This settlement resulted from a discrimination complaint initiated by a case manager who reported that two months before her client died, he was denied admission to the Contra Costa nursing home because he had AIDS. (When we use the term “living with HIV,” we mean both AIDS and HIV-positive status).

A few years ago, OCR entered into a similar settlement with the A.T. Associates nursing home chain in Alameda County, California. That settlement resulted from a discrimination complaint initiated by a hospital social worker who also reported that her client had been denied admission to a nursing home because he is HIV-positive.

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