A personal care home in Lycoming County, Pa., refused admission to a man with AIDS on the basis that his illness would make staffers "uncomfortable," according to a complaint filed with the state's Department of Public Welfare and the federal Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity offices last week. In the complaint, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania alleges that the 56-year-old man--who is also legally blind and has heart disease--is illegally being denied care. "Twenty years into the epidemic, we can't have people so unaware and uneducated about AIDS that they're afraid to provide care," said attorney Ronda Goldfein, executive director the Philadelphia-based law project.
The complaint alleges that Loving Care Personal Care Home's administrator told the man he could not live there because of his disease. A social worker handling his case offered to train the staff of the home about AIDS and infection control but was refused. The state and federal agencies will now investigate and issue their own findings, which could result in fines against the home. The man seeking residence at the facility is currently living at home and struggling to care for himself, said his case manager.