District Court Acts on Evidence Countering Military HIV Policy
A District Court injunction preventing the military discharge of two Air Force members living with HIV was responsive to medical evidence and reflected important recognition of advances in treatment for HIV, as well as of the abilities of people with the virus to enjoy productive healthy lives.
The plaintiffs, barred from military deployment due to their HIV status, filed the suit after receiving notice that their ineligibility to serve would lead to their discharge from the Air Force. Including expert testimony from HIV Medicine Association Chair Dr. W. David Hardy, and past Chair Dr. Carlos del Rio, the suit, and the preliminary injunction issued Friday preventing the plaintiff’s discharge, highlight an immediate need to re-evaluate outdated and discriminatory HIV-related military policies that contribute to stigma and compromise efforts to eliminate HIV infections in the United States.
As societies of infectious disease and HIV specialists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association will continue to urge that no one should be excluded from any opportunity, including military service, on the basis of HIV status.