Judge Rules Military Cannot Discharge, Bar From Advancement Soldiers With HIV | Beaufort County Now | 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.

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Hank Berrien.

    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."

    "In 2020, the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction barring the discharge of the airmen," The New York Post noted. "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. The Department of Justice argued before the 4th Circuit that the Air Force determined the two airmen could no longer perform their duties because their career fields required them to deploy frequently and because their condition prevented them from deploying to the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility, where most airmen are expected to go."

    The DOJ admitted that medical treatment lowers the risk of transmitting HIV, but said the blood shed on the battlefield increases the risk.

    Rolling Stone reported in 2017 that HIV transmission rates were rising in the military:

    Nationally, HIV transmission rates have gone down as access to medication and education have increased. But since tracking HIV within the armed forces, positive tests have "trended upwards since 2011," according to the Defense Health Agency's Medical Surveillance Monthly Report published in 2015. The highest prevalence of HIV is among Army and Navy men, according to the report.

    The Defense Department wrote during former President Barack Obama's second term in 2013: "It is DoD policy to deny eligibility for military service to persons with laboratory evidence of HIV infection for appointment, enlistment, pre-appointment, or initial entry training for military service."

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