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HIV and service in the US Army
Jan 16, 2017

Can an HIV person be recruited in the U.S army?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

I could think of no better person to ask this question than to my friend and highly respected HIV criminalization expert and decorated Army veteran, Ken Pinkela.

He writes: "Currently, the Department of Defense maintains its band on enlisting in the Armed Forces -

Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) 6485.1 dated June 7, 2013 reads:

- It is DoD policy to: a. Deny eligibility for military service to persons with laboratory evidence of HIV infection for appointment, enlistment, pre-appointment, or initial entry training for military service pursuant to DoDI 6130.03 (Reference (c)).

This policy is up for a directed review in 2018 and I remain hopeful that we can drive a successful policy change in the US military.

The rise of the Undetectable=Untransmittable campaign that demonstrates for people living with HIV on treatment and have an undetectable viral load that makes them incapable of transmitting HIV to others and gives us the best new tool to educate the decisions makers, push the DOD medical community to update how HIV is defined, and to drive a comprehensive scientifically informed policy change.

I will continue to lobby Members of Congress to not just follow the actions of both Israel and South Africa, in which both nations have lifted and modified their military HIV recruitment/service policies, but to lead on this issue and to remove the ban on citizens who are both willing and capable to join and serve the nation solely based on living with HIV.

Good Luck to the reader asking the question and thank you for allowing me to respond..."


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