Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

PHRC partners with the AIDS Law Project in discrimination case

Public hearing will be held Thursday, July 11

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) is partnering with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania for an upcoming public hearing. The case involves an individual who alleges he was denied tattoo because he has HIV. The hearing will be inside the Reading City Hall Council Chambers on Thursday, July 11.

“Stigma and discrimination continue to fuel the HIV epidemic," said Ronda B. Goldfein, executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania. "Discrimination based on HIV must be challenged whenever it occurs. Denying services based on fear isn't HIV prevention – education is."

Adrian Lowe, senior staff attorney at the AIDS Law Project added, "Our client wanted a tattoo to celebrate his long-term survival with a diagnosis that he once thought was inevitably fatal. Instead, he came face to face with discrimination based on irrational fear."

The AIDS Law Project will represent the complainant and the PHRC will represent the Commonwealth’s interest.

“A complainant’s HIV status should not prevent them from the ability to access a service,” said PHRC Interim Chief Counsel Morgan Williams, Esq. “Under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, it is illegal to deny someone access to a business or deny the same service others receive. We are proud to partner with the AIDS Law Project and look forward to bringing this case to a public hearing.”

 “We have a come a long way since the HIV/AIDS epidemic first began, but the impact of trauma on those who live with HIV manifests more when they face discrimination,” said PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW. "A person’s HIV status does not make them any less worthy of a service, an education, a place to live, or a job. Discrimination based on fear is still discrimination. The PHRC is empowered to investigate discrimination complaints. Anyone who feels they have experienced illegal discrimination should contact the PHRC and we will help them decide whether they would like to file a complaint.”

About PHRC: The PHRC enforces state laws that prohibit illegal discrimination. To file a complaint, call 717-787-4410. Information and resources are also available at Follow the PHRC on X, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


PHRC Media Contact Details

Amanda Brothman

Communications Director 771-856-5971
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Media