A Florida woman is suing a popular massage parlor chain for refusing to provide her with services because of her HIV positive status.
Alecia Tramel was visiting a Massage Envy in Aventura for her monthly massage and when she was asked about her medical history things went left.
She asked me, ‘Do you have any medical conditions?’ I say, ‘I’m HIV positive.’ She said, ‘Get undressed to your underwear, get on the table and cover up,’ and she leaves out of the room,” Tramel told Florida’s Local 10 News.
Tramel said an employee returned and told her, “We will not be able to provide you with a service because you need a doctor’s consent.”
“(The) first time in 19 years I feel devastated, but instead of it making me want to crawl under a rock, it fueled me,” Tramel said about the experience.
Tramel is now filling a lawsuit against the owners of the franchise.
“You can’t discriminate in the provision of services, public accommodations, which Massage Envy is,” Tramel’s lawyer Courtney Cunningham said. “You can’t discriminate in providing services to people who are HIV positive just because they are HIV positive.”
Tramel, who was diagnosed in 2000, said she was shocked that she was discriminated against.
“I went to the car, sat in the car, and I said, ‘This is what it feels like.’ I think I was numb. I felt pain, isolation and fear from a place I went to get a service.”
Tramel added that she is also symptom-free, so there were no grounds to be concerned about her physical health or getting a doctor’s note.