Health and Legal Professionals Welcome HIV Policy Assessment Directive in Defense Bill

Time for Department of Defense policies to reflect current science, say HIV physicians, nurses, and advocates.

Members of the Positive Justice Project issued statements today supporting the required report on the military's HIV and Hepatitis B policies that was included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA). Section 572 of the NDAA, which approves spending for the military and national security, gives the Secretary of Defense 180 days to submit a report describing policies on the enlistment, commissioning, retention, deployment, discharge or disciplining of individuals with HIV or Hepatitis B, and an assessment of whether the policies "reflect an evidence-based, medically accurate understanding of how these conditions are contracted, how these conditions can be transmitted to other individuals, and the risk of transmission." The directive would require the Secretary of Defense to examine and justify two major aspects of military policy that have subjected people with HIV to negative treatment based on their health condition: automatic exclusion from enlistment, and from certain assignments for those who become infected after enlistment; and restrictions on consensual sexual relationships that can lead to prosecution and expulsion from service when violated.

The Positive Justice Project's press release is available below.