Members of the United States Air Force living with HIV were recently discharged days before Thanksgiving, according to Lambda Legal.
The organization teamed up with a law firm to file a lawsuit on behalf of the service members under Roe and Voe v. Mattis.
As detailed in a Washington Post exclusive, the case was filed anonymously to protect the plaintiffs’ medical privacy. The plaintiffs received notification just days before Thanksgiving, denying their discharge appeals despite compliance with fitness assessments and medical treatment, as well as strong support from commanding officers.
Nevertheless, the plaintiffs were found “unfit for continued military service.”
The article stated that the Pentagon’s discriminatory deployment policies are being used to justify the separation of members living with HIV entirely based on their status.
The “Deploy or Get Out” policy, unveiled by the Trump administration in February 2018, directs the Pentagon to identify service members who cannot be deployed to military posts outside of the United States for more than 12 consecutive months and to separate them from military service.
Since current U.S. military policy identifies service members living with HIV as non-deployable, they face immediate discharge under this Trump policy.