At its 2014 annual meeting the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates, the principal policy-making body of the AMA, adopted this resolution condemning discrimination based on HIV status, including mandatory discharge from the military based solely on HIV, and supporting the modernization of HIV related criminal laws. The resolution encourages vigorous enforcement of existing anti-discrimination laws and the incorporation of HIV in future federal anti-discrimination legislation. It also supports making federal and state laws consistent with current medical knowledge, avoiding criminal punishment based on health and disability status, and educating the public on the stigma and negative health consequences of HIV criminalization. A preliminary draft of the resolution was adopted by the House of Delegates at its June meeting and the final version was approved by a vote at the House of Delegates Interim Meeting in November 2014.
The final text of the resolution says:
H-20.914 Discrimination and Criminalization Based on HIV Seropositivity
Our AMA: (1) Remains cognizant of and concerned about society's perception of, and discrimination against, HIV-positive people; (2) Condemns any act, and opposes any legislation of categorical discrimination based on an individual's actual or imagined disease, including HIV infection; this includes Congressional mandates calling for the discharge of otherwise qualified individuals from the armed services solely because of their HIV seropositivity; (3) Encourages vigorous enforcement of existing anti-discrimination statutes; incorporation of HIV in future federal legislation that addresses discrimination; and enactment and enforcement of state and local laws, ordinances, and regulations to penalize those who illegally discriminate against persons based on disease; (4) Encourages medical staff to work closely with hospital administration and governing bodies to establish appropriate policies regarding HIV-positive patients; (5) Supports consistency of federal and/or state laws with current medical and scientific knowledge including avoidance of any imposition of punishment based on health and disability status; and (6) Encourages public education and understanding of the stigma created by HIV criminalization statutes and subsequent negative clinical and public health consequences. (CSA Rep. 4, A-03; Reaffirmed: CSAPH Rep. 1, A-13; Appended: Sub. Res. 2, A-14)