Harrisburg — August 7, 2012 –State Sen. Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) issued the following statement concerning the decision by the Milton Hershey School to admit students who are HIV positive:

“The decision by the Milton Hershey School to admit HIV-positive students is appropriate and overdue,” Hughes said. “It is time that we turn the page on all forms of discrimination and remove admission impediments against all students, including those who are HIV positive.

“I applaud the school for the issuance of its new Equal Opportunity Policy. Students that have contracted HIV should be not treated any differently than other students,” Hughes said.

The Harrisburg-area school had refused to admit a then-13-year-old student because he was HIV positive and, therefore, posed a health threat.

Last December, Hughes wrote to the school asking for a meeting to discuss their refusal to admit the student. Following up his letter, Hughes met officials and discussed his sentiments with the president of the school.

Hughes has been recognized both nationally and locally for his work on HIV-AIDS.