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
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.
Beckett v Aetna, Inc. is a class action lawsuit against Aetna, Inc., Aetna Life Insurance company, Aetna Specialty Pharmacy, LLC (collectively, Aetna) and an unnamed vendor 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 large transparent window of the envelopes. 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 approximately 12,000 customers in at least 23 states. READ MORE
Learn more about our Past Leading Cases.
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.
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.
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
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.
- The first time you register for a training, you will set up a user account and password. Once you register for trainings, you will receive email confirmations. This 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.
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.
Learn more about Legal Action Center’s past Achievements in the area of HIV/AIDS.