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USCG Announces Changes on Deployability, Commissioning for HIV-Positive Service Members

"Covered personnel will not be deemed 'non-deployable' solely for the reason that they are HIV-positive."

Coast Guard members will no longer be considered ineligible for deployment or barred from seeking a commission as an officer based solely on their HIV status as USCG released several policy modifications for HIV positive service members.

A memo to service members from Rear Adm. Dana L. Thomas, Director of Health, Safety and Work-Life, said that “in view of significant advances in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV, it is necessary to update policy with respect to individuals who have been identified as HIV-positive.”

“REF (B) states current service members who have been identified as HIV-positive, are asymptomatic, and who have clinically confirmed undetectable viral load (hereinafter ‘covered personnel’), will have no restrictions applied to their deployability or to their ability to commission while a service member, solely on the basis of their HIV-positive status,” the message said. “This supersedes any restrictions currently in Chapter 1 of REF (A) for covered personnel, which includes Coast Guard Academy cadets and midshipmen, ROTC cadets and midshipmen, and other participants in in-service commissioning program.”

“Covered personnel will not be deemed ‘non-deployable’ solely for the reason that they are HIV-positive. Decisions on the deployability of covered personnel will be made on a case-by-case basis and must be justified by the Service member’s inability to perform the duties to which he or she would be assigned.”

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