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Discrimination by Association or Perception to be Outlawed

Saturday, April 4, 2009

NAT welcomes the Government's decision to ban discrimination based on association or perception.

The Government's announcement, given in a written statement by the Minister for Women and Equality Harriet Harman MP, means that for the first time people perceived to be, or associated with, someone who is HIV positive will be protected from discrimination. The change will be made in the new Equality Bill which is expected to be introduced to Parliament later this month.

The stigmatised nature of HIV means that many people who live with or care for people living with HIV face discrimination. In addition, groups particularly affected by the virus, such as gay and bisexual men, can experience discrimination because they are thought to be HIV positive. 

Commenting on the announcement, Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust) said:

"We are delighted by the Government's decision to ensure people are protected from discrimination by association or perception.

This is something we have been calling for for sometime. We were disappointed that the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 did not include this protection and so welcome the announcement that the new Equality Bill will put this right.

This protection will make a real difference to the partners, families and carers of people living with HIV, as well as to those sometimes thought to be HIV positive such as gay men. It sends out the clear message that discrimination on any level is not acceptable."

Notes to the editor:

For further information please contact:
Eleanor Briggs
020 7814 6767

NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expert advice and practical resources. We campaign for change. Shaping attitudes. Challenging injustice. Changing lives.