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Ken Warnock: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

By Robert Breining

January 7, 2013

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Ken Warnock

On Sunday December 16th Ken Warnock shared his story on the POZ I AM Radio Show. Ken Warnock served three years in the Navy prior to being discharged for being gay before "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was even enacted. As a Navy Hospital corpsman, he was involved in the roll out of HIV testing of US military personnel in the mid-80's. After the Navy, Ken used his military training as a Surgical Technologist to gain employment upon his return home to Michigan. As a result of his experience with discrimination, he became an advocate for gay rights and became involved in a number of local organizations. When DADT was being discussed, Ken was a common local media presence.

In 1988, he contracted Hepatitis B from a scalpel injury during a surgical procedure. This did not preclude him from working in the OR, however, when he was diagnosed with HIV & AIDS in 2002, a routine test demonstrated the presence of the Hepatitis B E-antigen which meant that he could no longer perform invasive surgical procedures. He has become an Adjunct Faculty member at Macomb Community College and at Oakland Community College where he teaches Surgical Technology and Central Services Technology. He also works full-time as a shift supervisor in the Sterile Processing Department of a local hospital.

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