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Dugas v. Arkansas Board of Cosmetology

Last Update: June 2, 2005

What's at Stake

Allan Dugas was kicked out of cosmetology school because of his HIV status.

Allan Dugas was a student at Hair Tech Beauty College in Paragould, Arkansas, but he was expelled after he voluntarily disclosed his HIV status to his instructor. In a written letter sent after his expulsion, the school claimed that it could not allow Dugas to continue with his studies because of a state regulation prohibiting people with an “infectious or communicable disease” from practicing cosmetology. The ACLU sent a letter asking the Arkansas Board of Cosmetology to clarify a state regulation used as the justification to expel Dugas. The ACLU letter pointed out that cosmetologists with HIV pose no genuine risk of exposure to their clients or coworkers and requested that the board affirm that people with HIV are not barred from practicing cosmetology. The Board affirmed that people with HIV are not barred from practicing cosmetology and informed the college.

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