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Victory Against Air Force HIV Ban

By Charlotte Robinson, January 11, 2020
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling halting efforts by the Trump-Pence administration to discharge members of the Air Force because they are living with HIV. The decision will allow the two active-duty plaintiffs in the case to continue serving in the U.S. Air Force as well as prevent the discharge of any other Airmen living with HIV. Peter Perkowski Director of Modern Military Association of America stated, "In light of major advancements in medical treatments, there is no legitimate reason these servicemembers cannot or should not be able to continue to serve their country. It’s past time for the Department of Defense’s outdated policies to catch up with modern science.” The court ruled that the government’s justifications “fail to account for current medical literature & expert opinion about current HIV treatment & transmission risks.” The opinion written by Judge Wynn & joined by Judge Diaz & Judge Floyd, stated, “A ban on deployment may have been justified at a time when HIV treatment was less effective at managing the virus & reducing transmission risks. But any understanding of HIV that could justify this ban is outmoded & at odds with current science. Such obsolete understandings cannot justify a ban, even under a deferential standard of review & even according appropriate deference to the military’s professional judgments.”  The case was a joint effort of Lambda Legal & MMAA with attorneys from Winston & Strawn LLP & Greenberg Traurig LLP serving as pro-bono co-counsel. Modern Military Association of America was formed through the merger of the American Military Partner Association & OutServe-SLDN & is the nation’s largest non-profit organization for the LGBTQ military & veteran community. They are committed to education, advocacy & support for LGBTQ service members, veterans, military spouses, family members & allies.
For More Info: modernmilitary.org
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