December 15, 2011

AHF Launches Campaign Against AIDS Discrimination at Hershey School

Dec. 15, 2011, 4:02 p.m. EST

At Washington D.C. press conference scheduled for Friday, December 16th at 10:00 AM Eastern, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will announce willingness to contribute up to $50,000 to support federal discrimination lawsuit filed by AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania against the school on behalf of the 13-year-old boy and his mother

WASHINGTON, Dec 15, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will host an in-person press conference and teleconference on Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10:00 am at the National Press Club (529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor) to announce the launch of a campaign against HIV/AIDS discrimination at Hershey School in Pennsylvania and in support of the federal discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of a 13-year-old boy who was rejected for admission at Hershey explicitly due to his HIV-positive status. At the event, AHF will announce its willingness to contribute up to $50,000 to support the lawsuit filed by AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and will express its moral outrage at the case, which first made news earlier this month, on December 1, 2011 -- World AIDS Day.

According to the Associated Press (claim:Hershey School Rejects HIV-Positive Pa. Boy)(claim:By Peter Jackson)(claim:12/1/11): "A private boarding school connected with the Hershey chocolate company says it was trying to protect other students when it denied admission to a Philadelphia-area teenager because he is HIV-positive. The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit on behalf of the unidentified boy in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Wednesday, claiming the Milton Hershey School for disadvantaged students violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. School officials acknowledged that the 13-year-old boy was denied admission because of his medical condition. They said they believed it was necessary to protect the health and safety of the 1,850 others enrolled in the residential institution, which serves children in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade and where students live in homes with 10 to 12 others."

WHAT: Press Conference & Teleconference - Hershey School Rejection of HIV+ Boy

WHEN: Friday, December 16th - 10:00 am, Eastern

WHERE: National Press Club
529 14th Street NW, 13th
Floor Washington D.C. 20045

HOW: Dial in: 1-877-411 9748 Access Code: 7931503

WHO: Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs & General Counsel, AIDS Healthcare Foundation

AHF CONTACTS: Ged Kenslea : (323) 791-5526 mobile; Lori Yeghiayan: (323) 377-4312 mobile

"We are morally outraged by the blatant discrimination shown by the Hershey School in this case. As the largest global AIDS organization, we did not feel like AHF could stand by without offering support to AIDS Law Project of the Pennsylvania and the suit they have filed on behalf of the student," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "The ignorance displayed by the Hershey School's leadership is unacceptable and demonstrates just how much work there is still to be done to dismantle the fear and misinformation that still surrounds this disease more than 25 years after Ryan White."

Ryan White was an American teenager from Kokomo, Indiana who, in the mid-1980s, was expelled from middle school because he was HIV-positive. A lengthy legal battle with the school ensued and White became a galvanizing force in educating the country about HIV & AIDS at a time when misinformation about the disease was widespread. After his death in 1990, the U.S. Congress passed a major piece of legislation named in his honor, the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides funding for HIV/AIDS programs for low-income Americans.

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 123,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. 

SOURCE: AIDS Healthcare Foundation


        Ged Kenslea

        Communications Director

        Cell: (323) 791-5526
        Lori Yeghiayan

        Assoc. Dir. of Communications

        Office: (323) 308-1834 Cell: (323) 377-4312


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