Pentagon Defends Plan To Expel HIV+ Service Members

Bloomberg reports:

The Trump administration defended a new military policy that will allegedly result in HIV-positive service members being fired in violation of their constitutional rights when it takes effect Oct. 1.

The “Deploy or Get Out!” directive is intended to improve military readiness by weeding out soldiers who can’t deploy overseas for more than 12 consecutive months “for any reason.” An earlier directive from the height of the AIDS crisis prevents soldiers with HIV from deploying overseas, meaning the new policy may make it impossible for them to serve.

But the military has wide latitude in deciding who can serve, the U.S. said in filing Sept. 7 in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit over the policy.

The lawsuit was filed by OutServe-SDLN on behalf of a National Guard member who was deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan before being diagnosed in 2012. He was later denied a promotion, apparently because he could not be redeployed.