New York Camp’s Exclusion Of HIV-Positive Child Is Discrimination

A federal judge in New York has ruled that a Rockland County basketball camp unlawfully discriminated against a 10 year-old HIV-positive boy when the camp denied admission to the child. Doe v. Deer Mountain Day Camp, 07 CIV 5495. While the court recognized that the camp was obligated to protect other campers from a life-threatening infection, the obligation did not excuse actions based on unsubstantiated fears.

The court held that the camp provided no evidence that the infected child posed a direct threat to the health and safety of others. The court noted that the basis of the camps fears, that HIV in stool can survive in swimming pools and that HIV can be transmitted by blood on a toilet seat, did not conform to the prevailing medical consensus, and was not justified through credible scientific evidence.

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