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AIDS Action Urges Gingrich To Check His Facts, Support Military HIV Ban, Repeal Legislation

February 15, 1996

AIDS Action Network Alert

AIDS Action is deeply troubled that House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) yesterday voiced opposition to the legislative repeal of the recently enacted mandatory discharge from military service of active duty service members who are HIV positive. Speaking in defense of the military HIV ban, Gingrich made uninformed and grossly inaccurate comments about the deployability of HIV-infected service members. His statement that "no one who has ever studied seriously how bad combat can get wants to have a person in [their] unit who's HIV-positive," displayed that Gingrich has not been briefed about current Pentagon policy -- first adopted by the Reagan administration -- that prohibits the deployment of HIV-infected troops to combat areas. Mr. Gingrich, get your facts straight and support, rather than attack, President Clinton, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and others supporting a legislative remedy to the grievous wrong that was committed against 1,049 patriotic men and women with the passage and eventual signing of this disastrous measure. This issue, Mr. Speaker, affects 1,049 patriotic Americans and should not be used as a tool of partisan politics, or of uninformed prejudice.

For more information, contact
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

Mark Barnes is executive director of AIDS Action Council. Founded in 1984, AIDS Action represents more than 1,000 community-based AIDS service organizations nationwide, and is the only national organization devoted solely to lobbying the federal government on AIDS policy, legislation and funding.

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.
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