Gay cadet challenges HIV military ban

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A gay cadet’s Navy career came to an abrupt end after he was diagnosed with HIV. He considered it unfair not only to himself but also to other HIV+ people who want to serve, and started a legal battle for the ban on HIV+ militants to be cancelled. Kevin Deese was informed of his diagnosis in April 2014, barely a month before his graduation from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He was told he could graduate, but it was everything he could count on. The 26-year old man dreamed about the Naval career since he was 9, so such a news came as a shock for him. “It was not something I thought I had been at risk for. Then he says that I will not be commissioning as an officer along with my classmates. It was a double whammy—so much stigma and shame, everything I had worked for and that the Naval Academy had paid to educate me for,” he said. The chaplain and the medical officer promised their support, but de facto this support was only verbal. ” It was presented as very cut-and-dry with no possibility to get a waiver, no process. One of the commandants had prepared talking points for me and had scrawled ‘not a death sentence’ on a Post-It note,” Deese told TheBody.

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