An unnamed Massachusetts man is suing an insurance company in Omaha, after he was denied long-term insurance care because he is taking Truvada as PrEP.
The man, who we only know as John Doe, applied for long-term insurance care which pays for some (or all) of the costs of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home health care in November of last year.
The plaintiff said: “I was being responsible and doing the right thing. Insurance companies should be begging everyone to take Truvada – not discouraging them. As someone who lived through the worst of the epidemic and saw dozens of my friends die, I want to do everything I can to stop it.”
GLAD, or Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, has now filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, claiming that the insurance company violated anti-discrimination laws.
This is believed to be the very first lawsuit which is alleging discrimination based on a person’s PrEP usage.
Bennett Klein, Senior Attorney and AIDS Law Project Director at GLAD, had this to say: “Mutual of Omaha’s denial is nonsensical. If our client were not taking Truvada, not protecting his health and the health of others, he would have received the insurance. We should be well beyond the days when insurers make decisions based on fear and stereotypes about HIV. The assumption is that gay male sexuality is inherently risky and unhealthy, and that’s just wrong.”