Legal Action Center’s HIV Project promotes prevention, testing, and treatment and combats stigma and discrimination through legal services and litigation, policy advocacy, technical assistance, and education.

Legal Services & Litigation

Legal Action Center provides free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS in New York.  LAC helps people protect their HIV privacy rights, avoid discrimination, get fair treatment in the workplace, and more. LAC also brings lawsuits to create broader change that can benefit many people.

LAC’s free legal services for people living with HIV/AIDS in New York focus on these issues:

  • Discrimination in employment, housing, health care, schools, etc.
  • HIV/AIDS in the workplace
  • HIV/AIDS privacy rights
  • HIV testing without consent
  • Living wills and health care proxies
  • Standby guardianships and family support services
  • Criminal record issues

The Legal Action Center’s services range from brief advice to informal advocacy and full representation. LAC files complaints with City, State and Federal agencies that enforce privacy and anti-discrimination laws.  LAC also bring lawsuits to create broader change that can benefit others.

Family support services

This pamphlet describes the supportive services that the Legal Action Center and The Family Center provide families affected by HIV/AIDS.

If you are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS and you live in New York, you may speak with LAC’s legal staff. Please call (212) 243-1313, Monday through Friday during regular business hours.  Initial intake is by phone only. LAC will not respond to requests by e-mail and cannot serve “walk-in” clients.

For answers to common questions about HIV in the workplace, confidentiality, anti-discrimination laws and more, please read the FAQs.

Looking for publications and training materials on these topics?  You can find them by visiting Resources.

For our brochure on our services, click here.

Active Cases

Beckett v. Aetna, Inc. is a class action lawsuit against Aetna, Inc., Aetna Life Insurance company, and Aetna Specialty Pharmacy, LLC (collectively, Aetna) for violating the privacy rights of people taking HIV medication by sending a mailing to Aetna customers in envelopes where their HIV medication was visible through the envelopes’ large transparent window. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, contends that the mailing violated several laws by revealing highly confidential HIV information of 11,800 customers. READ MORE


Past Cases
Learn more about our Past Leading Cases.

Policy Advocacy

Legal Action Center fights to protect the privacy of people with HIV AIDS and end discrimination against them. LAC also fights to stop the spread of HIV and expand access to health care and support services for people living with HIV and AIDS.

LAC fights to protect the privacy of people with HIV and AIDS and the confidentiality of their health information. LAC also fights to end discrimination and stigma against people with HIV and AIDS: 

LAC fights for policies that expand HIV and Hepatitis C testing and harm reduction practices like safe access to clean syringes. 

LAC fights to expand access to health care and support services for people with HIV and Hepatitis C. 

Technical Assistance for Providers

Legal Action Center’s attorneys provide free legal advice to New York service providers and government agencies through a telephone hotline. LAC assists dozens of agencies annually with questions about HIV confidentiality, testing and discrimination.

LAC provides free legal advice to service providers and government agencies in New York on these issues:

  • HIV confidentiality
  • HIV Testing
  • HIV-based discrimination

Organizations in New York State may request free help from LAC’s “attorney on call,” Monday through Friday between 1 and 5.  Call  (212) 243-1313.

You also may find the help you need in FAQs or Resources, where there are publications and training materials on all of these topics.

Trainings

Legal Action Center provides trainings to HIV service providers and government agencies throughout New York on legal issues critical to people living with HIV/AIDS.

LAC conducts training on HIV legal issues for service providers throughout New York State. Service providers either can attend trainings that LAC hosts for all HIV service providers in New York, or request a customized training at your agency.  LAC provides trainings in-person and by webinar.

Customized trainings cover a broad range of topics, including:

  • Overcoming Employment Barriers for People with Criminal Records
  • Legal Rights of Adolescents in the Age of AIDS.
  • Employment Rights for People with HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Substance Use Disorders
  • Legal Issues for an Aging HIV-Positive Population
  • Client Advocacy: What to do When Your Client's HIV Confidentiality or Testing Rights Have Been Violated?
  • Accessing Insurance Coverage for Substance Use & Mental Health Treatment the Federal Parity Law
  • HIV/AIDS Confidentiality Law Overview

Upcoming trainings

To learn about upcoming trainings for HIV service providers, please visit upcoming trainings. Or, to request a custom training for your organization, you may contact Vanessa Severino.

LAC conducts its HIV trainings in partnership with the Empire Justice Center. Please visit the Empire Justice Center’s website for a list of its web-based trainings.

To register for any HIV training, use the AIDS Institute’s Online Registration System.

To be alerted when new trainings are posted, please register here.

Past training materials

Visit Resources for publications and training materials on all of these topics.

Resources

Learn about Legal Action Center’s resources on HIV-related legal issues. Our publications, webinars, and training materials can help individuals, service providers and policy makers.

Visit Resources to view and download free:

  • Publications
  • Webinars and Videos
  • Training materials
  • Forms

You can also visit our FAQs to learn more about your rights.

Achievements

Learn more about Legal Action Center’s past Achievements in the area of HIV/AIDS.

Visit our Accomplishments section for highlights of our HIV/AIDS accomplishments.

Visit our Clients Stories section for examples of the ways in which we have worked with our clients in the past.

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