Statement: Armed Forces announce major changes to allow people living with HIV to serve in the military
The Ministry of Defence has today announced that the Armed Forces have committed to ensuring that people living with HIV will no longer be barred from serving. People taking the HIV prevention medication PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) can now join the Armed Forces with immediate effect, and serving personnel who are HIV positive can also be recognised as fully fit, in changes planned to come into effect early next year.
Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of the National AIDS Trust said:
“We are delighted to see the end of outdated and unnecessary policies preventing people living with HIV and those taking the HIV prevention medication PrEP from joining and fulfilling their potential within the Armed Forces. An HIV diagnosis and use of PrEP will no longer prevent entry or automatically result in limited deployment opportunities. These changes will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of personnel. A career in the Armed Forces was the only career not open to people living with HIV in the UK and with this much-needed change the military will be more able to meet its obligation to promote inclusivity within its ranks.
“The policies being changed were obsolete and based on out-of-date evidence that reinforced incorrect views of HIV, in turn perpetuating the stigma faced by people living with HIV. HIV stigma stops people from accessing HIV testing and treatment, and changing these policies brings us one step closer to ending new HIV transmissions by 2030. There now needs to be a commitment across the Armed Forces to improve access to information and services to prevent HIV alongside improved support to personnel living with HIV to improve the health and wellbeing of those serving in the Armed Forces. We need these changes without delay.”
For more details please contact Joe Lester on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7814 6727
Notes to editors
About National AIDS Trust
We’re the UK’s HIV rights charity. We work to stop HIV from standing in the way of health, dignity and equality, and to end new HIV transmissions. Our expertise, research and advocacy secure lasting change to the lives of people living with and at risk of HIV.