Judge Halts Air Force's Efforts to Discharge Airmen with HIV

Airmen from the 823rd Base Defense Squadron (BDS) board an HC-130J Combat King II during airfield security training on Jan. 28, 2019, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erick Requadt)
Airmen from the 823rd Base Defense Squadron (BDS) board an HC-130J Combat King II during airfield security training on Jan. 28, 2019, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erick Requadt)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A federal judge in Virginia has ordered the U.S. Air Force to halt efforts to discharge service members who are HIV-positive.

U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in Alexandria issued the preliminary injunction Friday. She ruled that the Air Force's treatment of HIV-positive personnel is "irrational, inconsistent, and at variance with modern science."

The ruling will keep at least two HIV-positive men in the Air Force for the time being. They were just days and weeks away from being formally discharged.

The men are suing the U.S. military over policies that could lead to the dismissal of HIV-positive personnel. The policies prevented the service members from deploying outside the United States without a waiver. That, in turn, resulted in the men being considered "unfit" for continued military service.

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