Donald Trump failed to dismiss an airman with HIV. Again


The two men, referred to by the pseudonyms Roe and Voe, were given discharge orders in 2017 on the basis that they couldn’t be deployed to the Middle East due to their HIV-positive status. Both men are on antiretroviral treatment, meaning that they are allowed to deploy (the doctors confirmed it) and their virus has no visible symptoms. Their discharges were blocked by a preliminary injunction in February last year, which the Department of Defence and the Air Force appealed. On January 10, a federal court moved to uphold the injunction, judging that the ban on deployment was based on an “obsolete understanding” of their disease. Roe and Voe were represented by Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization that fights on behalf of LGBT+ people. Scott Schoettes, Lambda Legal’s HIV Project director, said that the government was unable to reasonably justify the suspension, so it was unmotivated and discriminatory.


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