Chimes with the current fight to challenge CDC's CFS definition
MAY BE REPOSTED, FORWARDED, SHARED, ETC.
It might be of interest to know that the CDC's AIDS definition was successfully challenged in 1993. Below are references to this lawsuit I was able to find on the web.
U.S. Is Sued Over AIDS Benefits - The New York Times
U.S. IS SUED OVER AIDS BENEFITS
By Josh Barbannel
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 1990, New York Times
Hundreds of women, children, drug addicts and homeless people disabled by the AIDS virus are being improperly denied Federal benefits because the Government is using a flawed and outdated definition of the disease, a lawsuit filed yesterday in Federal court in Manhattan charged.
According to the suit, the people are being denied benefits even though they have been repeatedly hospitalized for disabling conditions, including gynecological disorders, tuberculosis, heart infections, bacterial pneumonia and kidney failure.
These symptoms are not included in the definition used by the Social Security Administration.
''I've been having strong pains since the last time I have been in the hospital,'' said one plaintiff in the suit, identified in court papers and in an interview only by her intials, S.P.
The Social Security Administration referred calls about the lawsuit to the Justice Department, which said it was unfamiliar with the suit.
At the heart of the suit is a dispute over the definition of AIDS promulgated by the Federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to track the spread of the epidemic. That definition has been used, the plaintiffs said, to award or deny Government benefits.
The Federal definition lists a number of ''indicator'' diseases, like Kaposi's sarcoma, a skin cancer. The definition was drawn up after studies of early AIDS victims, often middle-class homosexual men.
Theresa M. McGovern, a lawyer with MFY Legal Services, the lead counsel in the lawsuit, said that so far the Centers for Disease Control had not conducted large studies of the effects of AIDS on women or other groups of patients. She said it was ''irresponsible'' for the Social Security Administration to rely solely on the centers' definition.
The suit seeks to be recognized as a class action representing thousands of women, children, drug users, homeless people and poor people with AIDS across New York State.
S.P. et al. v. Sullivan (Federal Court, New York)
SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE. This lawsuit challenges the Social Security Administration's (SSA) reliance on the Centers for Disease Control's grossly inadequate definition of AIDS for awarding Social Security disability benefits. The SSA regulations challenged here granted disability benefits automatically to anyone with HIV whose doctor certifies that they had one of the opportunistic infections recognized as HIV-related by the CDC. However, the CDC definition did not include many of the diseases which manifest in women, drug users and low-income people. Benefits applicants who were disabled by these non-recognized diseases not only had to provide medical evidence regarding their HIV status but also had to satisfy an additional and very difficult "functional" standard to prove they could not function normally in the work world. In July 1993, the SSA announced new regulations governing disability benefits for people with HIV which address virtually all of the
concerns raised by our lawsuit. The new regulations added the predominant manifestations of HIV in women, drug users, and low income people as criteria by which HIV-infected individuals can qualify for disability benefits. A settlement conference with the Department of Health and Human Services before Southern District of New York Judge Cedarbaum is scheduled for mid-September. Terry McGovern of the HIV Law Project is lead counsel on the case. Other participants include MFY Legal Services, Brooklyn Legal Services, Cardozo Law School's Bet Tzedek Legal Services, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Suzanne Goldberg is Lambda's attorney on the case.