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Atlanta Pays $250K To HIV Positive Cop Applicant

August 22, 2012  | 

The city of Atlanta has agreed to pay $250,000 to a police applicant who claimed he wasn't hired because he tested HIV positive during medical screening.

The settlement was accepted by Lambda Legal on behalf of "Richard Roe," the psudonym of a 40-year old Georgia man who applied to the Atlanta Police Department in 2006.

The city had contended that a police officer with HIV presents a "direct threat" to the health and safety of others, reports the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Edward @ 8/24/2012 7:45 PM

HIV does pose a danger to others. What happens if he gets shot, or otherwise injured, and fellow officers provide first aid to stop the bleeding? Cops routinely suffer cuts and scrapes during the course of their duties; it's too big of a risk to take. Atlanta should not have given in to this extortion.

Josh @ 8/24/2012 10:33 PM

I don't think AIDS cops are a good idea. He could spread the AIDS to other officers and take out the whole force with the AIDS.

Dan T @ 8/27/2012 1:32 PM

It is quite obvious that the initial two commenters do not understand the nature of the aids virus. An HIV active officer shot, cut, or otherwise maintaining an open wound does not pose any more threat to officers than the average civillian contact. Use of appropriate best practices as indicated in the presence of any body fluids from anyone provide more than enough protection. Even direct exposure of HIV positive blood to an open mucus membrane or wound on another person is nto enough to ensure infection. If you wear gloves when touching the injured, and you wear bandaids, etc on open skin abrasions as one ought to then the liklihood of transmission is far far less than 2%. You will encounter far more risk from contacts bleeding, drugged up, open sores, carrying contaminated sharps, etc in a given week than you would riding shoulder to shoulder with an HIV positive partner for years. Declining to hire and individual otherwise qualified for the job due to being HIV positive is much akin to blaming a rape victim their victimization or a person with a mental disability for being mentally challenged.

In both instances I am sure that given the choice neither individual would desire to have such circumstances, but they have to live with it every day. You can be get HIV during birth and through no ill choices of the individual in question. Do not ostracise these PEOPLE any more than they already have to deal with every day. Officers ought to represent role models of knowledge and understanding of these realities not oppression, marginalization, and fear.

Do a little research please, and then feel free to stand on any soap box you want, but share the truth.

LeadFarmer @ 8/28/2012 9:52 PM

I would still be uneasy and it's not just an HIV thing. I feel the same about Hep-c and all other diseases readily acquired by contact with blood. It's not at all like blaming a rape victim either Dan, no one "blames" the HIV infected person, they just don't want to work in a hazardous environment with someone who could get them sick. Nobody is entitled to a job with the police and I wouldn't expect anyone to hire me if I had HIV, just as I wouldn't expect the Army to accept anyone who had a communicable disease like HIV. It's not a discrimination issue, it's safety, plain and simple and dressing it up any other way is just camouflage.

Stefan @ 9/29/2013 10:58 AM

Dan T is 100% right. NO ONE is going to get HIV unless they engage in unprotected sex with the individual. Please, get educated.

Tori Luchsinger @ 7/31/2015 8:45 AM

you really should get educated leadfarmer I live with HIV.

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