November 24, 2009
A 1991 interior ministry directive declaring that people with HIV were "entirely incapable of working" in the police force was struck down Monday by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal. The court was asked to rule on the matter after a Gdansk police officer, on the force since 1998, was fired when he tested HIV-positive in 2006. "While the presence of the AIDS virus can in effect be considered undesirable in the case of rescue patrols, there are a number of posts in which it is not important, such as the police administration, teaching, as well as analytical and other departments," the court said in a statement. "We all had tears in our eyes," said Wojciech Tomczynski, the leader of an association for Polish HIV patients. He said the fired officer, who was present in the courtroom, intends to return to work.