AIDS Law Project to Sue South African National Defence Forces for Rejecting HIV-Positive Individuals for Employment
September 1, 2004
The South African AIDS advocacy group AIDS Law Project plans to sue the South African National Defence Forces on behalf of several individuals who were rejected for employment in the military because of their HIV-positive status, SAPA/News24.com reports. Two of the individuals in the complaint are soldiers who had fulfilled all other SANDF employment requirements, including fitness and psychological testing. They were accepted into the program until officials learned through their medical reports that they were HIV-positive, according to SAPA/News24.com. Another individual in the complaint is a woman who had applied and been rejected for a chaplain position. Under SANDF policy, all recruits are required to submit to comprehensive health assessments and are not admitted if they fail for any reason, including being HIV-positive. "We look at eyes, teeth, high blood pressure, for all ailments including HIV/AIDS," Defence Ministry spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said, adding, "The media want to give a person with HIV more weight than a person with high blood pressure. The bottom line is that the uniformed member must be 100% healthy" (SAPA/News24.com, 8/30). Approximately 23% of the 75,000 SANDF soldiers are estimated to be HIV-positive, SANDF Health Service Director Pieter Oelofse announced last month (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/19).
Human Right, Human Resources
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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