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Report: AIDS discrimination in U.S. is widespread
  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Civil rights violations against people with HIV and AIDS continue to be widespread throughout the United States, an American Civil Liberties Union survey said on Thursday.
People are fired, have their rental agreements torn up, and receive inadequate care when it is revealed they have HIV/AIDS, according to the study, based on interviews with 43 community-based AIDS service providers in 11 states.
"The situation is much worse than we thought it would be," said Paul Cates, director of public education for the ACLU AIDS Project. "It is pretty horrible stuff when you realize this is not a disease spread through casual contact and we are more than 20 years into this epidemic."
Among the most common hardships for the estimated 900,000 people in the United States with HIV and AIDS are denial of medical treatment, violations of privacy, deprivation of parental rights, workplace discrimination and refusal of admittance into nursing homes and residential facilities, the ACLU said.
Among the cases cited was that of a patient with AIDS who was admitted to a rural Texas hospital and left lying in a hospital bed with only a cup of water.
Staff from an AIDS service organization delivered medication to him, but he was not treated and was later transferred to another hospital where he died, the ACLU said.
According to the survey, medical privacy violations were reported by nearly all the service providers.
"Breaches of confidentiality can and do unravel people's lives, forcing them to find new jobs, new schools and new homes," ACLU AIDS Project attorney Tamara Lange said.
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