North Carolina dental office must pay $30K settlement over HIV discrimination claims

Raleigh, N.C.-based Night and Day Dental has reached a settlement to resolve a claim that it discriminated against a woman with HIV in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a June 17 news release from the Justice Department.

Night and Day Dental operates nine dental offices across North Carolina. After an investigation, the Justice Department found it discriminated against a woman with HIV by refusing to accept her as a new patient because of her HIV status. Additionally, Night and Day Dental has a policy of requiring certain bloodwork results from patients with HIV before deciding whether to provide care, according to the Justice Department.

"Turning away patients with HIV or requiring them to provide information that is not medically recommended creates unfair barriers to healthcare for people with HIV," said Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "The ADA requires healthcare providers to treat patients based on current medical knowledge about their particular health conditions, and not based on stereotypes or misconceptions about a disability."

Night and Day Dental must pay $30,000 to the victim of the discrimination. Additionally, Night and Day Dental must train staff on the Americans with Disabilities Act, develop and use a non-discrimination policy, and report and explain to the department every time it either refuses to treat a person with HIV or stops providing care after learning of a patient's HIV.

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