A U.S. District Judge has ruled that HIV-positive U.S. service members cannot be discharged or barred from becoming an officer if the infection is the sole cause of such a decision.
Two airmen had filed a 2018 lawsuit contending that advancements in medical treatment meant that presented “no real risk of transmission to others,” The New York Post noted.
Sgt. Nick Harrison of the D.C. Army National Guard, denied a position in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, also was involved in the case decided by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who stated that the military should not discharge or bar the prospective officers “because they are classified as ineligible for worldwide deployment … due to their HIV-positive status.”
The Hill reported, “In 2020, the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction barring the discharge of the airmen. In its ruling, the three-judge panel said the military’s rationale for prohibiting deployment of HIV-positive service members was ‘outmoded and at odds with current science.’ The appeals court ruling left the injunction in place while their lawsuit was being heard.”
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