BOSTON – AIDS Project Worcester (APW) is honoring Ben Klein, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders’ Senior Attorney and AIDS Law Project Director, with a special Red Ribbon Award for his advocacy and support for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

“Ben has been at the forefront of the HIV/AIDS legal advocacy movement since he came to GLAD in 1994,” said Lee Swislow, GLAD’s Executive Director. “We are proud of and grateful for the monumental achievements he has made throughout his career.”

Klein was lead counsel in Bragdon v. Abbott, the first HIV discrimination case to be heard by the United States Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 1998 established nationwide protection against discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act for all people with HIV.

In June, Klein reached a successful settlement on behalf of AIDS Services for the Monadnock Region (ASMR) that will enable ASMR to continue their group home without fear of it being taken by tax deed. Klein also won a decision before the Massachusetts Division of Medical Assistance Board of Appeals in 2001 ensuring equal access to liver transplants for HIV-positive individuals under the Commonwealth’s MassHealth program.

The Outstanding Advocate Red Ribbon Award will be presented to Ben during the 25th Anniversary event on Thursday, October 4, 2012. The theme for the evening is “Looking Forward: A Generation Free of AIDS.” APW is honoring ten individuals, including Kevin Cranston, Director of the Massachusetts Bureau of Infectious Disease.

AIDS Project Worcester is a nonprofit organization in Central, Massachusetts dedicated to ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic and fostering wellness through service, advocacy, prevention, education, and collaborative initiatives.  They empower and enhance the lives of people infected and affected by HIV/ AIDS by fighting stigma and discrimination and through individualized services and best practices in a supportive, multicultural setting.