Two service members with HIV are suing the Trump administration, arguing that they are being discharged because of their HIV status in an “unconstitutional and improper” fashion.
The lawsuit claims the Pentagon is discriminating against service members with HIV because of a long-standing Department of Defense rule that says they can’t deploy outside the US without a waiver. The Trump administration introduced a new rule in February that said any service member who can’t be deployed outside the United States for more than one continuous year should be separated from service.
Proponents of the policy said it reduced the burden on deployable service members, who were deploying at higher rates due to the need to cover for those service personnel who are not deployable.
“This directive arguably would have applied to almost all Service members living with HIV,” the lawsuit says.
The two service members, named in the suit as “Richard Roe” and “Victor Voe,” argue that they “are being discharged despite the contrary recommendations of their commanding officers and physicians solely because they have tested positive” for HIV — despite adhering to treatment plans and not showing symptoms.