Military + HIV Positive Individual

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So I was looking through news articles on yahoo and found an article about a Mexican military man who was kicked out of the army 6 years ago because he test HIV positive, now he has won his job back (due to court decision & it happened in Mexico).

What are your views? Should HIV positive individuals be allowed in the military or not? If not is it discriminatory or a safety precaution?

ETA: I know and understand that this happened in Mexico and they have different viewpoints/rules than the US (as we have strict rules about diseases/disabilities) but I think we can still share our opinions on HIV positive individuals and military work (or any work for that matter) both in the US and outside of the US

I posted the article below for those who care to read.

Court has HIV-positive Mexican soldier reinstated


GUADALAJARA, Mexico - A Mexican soldier has won his job back six years after he was kicked out of the military for testing HIV positive.


The soldier from western Mexican state of Jalisco was removed from his job after 20 years of service. But a federal court has ruled in his favor.
The Center for Justice, Peace and Development helped fight the soldier's case. The group said Tuesday the decision includes back-pay.
The soldier's name was not released to protect his privacy. Both he and the army discovered he was HIV-positive after a work accident required blood tests and surgery.
A year ago, Mexico's Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional for the military to expel soldiers who test positive for HIV. Military officials refuse to comment.
Turtles: omg please don't put that in your moo moo

Nej: too late... moo moo has been infiltrated.

Last edited by SarcasmIsBeauty; 08-07-2008 at 12:26 AM.
well here in the US, the army won't accept individuals with asthma, certain chronic diseases, heart defects, the lost goes on and on. Some of these diseases make it very difficult for a person to do the physically demanding parts of thier job. Some of them can be made worse but a lot of the physical activity that being in the military requires.

I think HIV is sort of a slippery slope though. This person could quite possibly be able to do the physically demanding portions of his service without any problems. But what happens if he gets hurt? Are his fellow soilders going to dress a wound he might get until trained medical help arrives? Should they be required to?

If i'm not mistaken, in the US Army, HIV is a dischargeable medical condition (if you test positive while in service) and they won't accept you into basic traning if you are positive.
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That's the Mexican army, and I have no clue how they work, but in the US military, I think HIV positive individuals are not accepted for enlistment, or are discharged if the HIV is found after they are enlisted. At least for combat soldiers...not sure about those with civilian-type jobs. Soldiers need to be healthy, and HIV can be quite a chronic illness requiring a lot of medical intervention, not to mention the risk of exposure to other soldiers living in close proximity and in battle conditions.

My son almost joined the Navy last year (changed his mind at the very last second). He developed Type 1 diabetes this year. If he had been in the Navy when he got his diagnosis, he would probably have been medically discharged...and rightly so. He cannot live without insulin every single day of his life and he can't be in combat with the restrictions he has. It's hard enough to live with T1 diabetes in regular life, let alone the stressful conditions of being a sailor.
ITA agree with you Nappy_curly_crown
I guess I should of written outside the US (as this happened in Mexico), in the US we have very specific rules about diseases/disabilties in reference to military activity
With this Mexican military officer the federal court in Mexico ruled that it was unconstitutional for him to be ousted from the military because of his HIV status
Like you said an HIV positive person may be able to function normally while in the army but what happens if there is an accident involving blood and someone contracts the disease, then what?
Would it be discriminatory to dismiss them then?

p.s. Ill edit my post to make sure my question is directed to places outside the U.S.
Turtles: omg please don't put that in your moo moo

Nej: too late... moo moo has been infiltrated.

Last edited by SarcasmIsBeauty; 08-07-2008 at 12:27 AM.
You cannot join the military in the US if you are HIV positive. If you are found to be HIV positive while you are on active duty, you will either be discharged (likely) or put on some type of desk duty (unlikely unless you are high-ranking or otherwise important). I know there was at least one HIV positive Marine in my squadron, possibly more. We were told to treat any blood spill like it may contain HIV, just to be completely safe.
I had to go through a whole Medical Board when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (allergy to wheat, barley, rye) so Im pretty sure it would be the same process with HIV. They would take the individual case and see if they can do their job...Im Air Force though so they just made me non-deployable. Army/Marines deploy a helluva lot more than us so Im sure the requirements are stricter!
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I don't think they should have kicked him out, so much as removed him from combat/dangerous situations and placed him somewhere else his skills cold be utilized. I'd imagine combat is chaotic and confusing enough to not have to recall the medical history of every other soldier in your immediate area should harm come.
Well, I happen to have some of the BUMED instructions on my computer for exam studying purposes...

Navy policy:

"Active duty military members...will be medically evaluated at a designated HIV evaluation and treatment unit (hetu) to determine the status of their infection....If the active duty member has no evidence for unfitting conditions, and therefore is fit for continued Naval service, the evaluation is documented in the member's medical and dental records. If unfitting conditions are found, a medical board is convened."


IRL, I've seen very few stay in, though more now with the cocktail. In reality, a non-deployable member can make it harder on everyone else, as there are fewer Conus or shore rotations open for others.
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I don't think they should have kicked him out, so much as removed him from combat/dangerous situations and placed him somewhere else his skills cold be utilized. I'd imagine combat is chaotic and confusing enough to not have to recall the medical history of every other soldier in your immediate area should harm come.
Originally Posted by violet_gypsy
Yes, but, in the long run, if you are a military member who cannot deploy, go overseas, or whatnot, how much good can you do? Everyone has to go overseas at some point.
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Change HIV for any chronic disease that eliminates the ability for the person to do the job they were hired to do, and you'll see that they're not discriminating against just one group of people. The military doesn't want any liabilities or dead weight. They also want to be able to deploy the people they're paying.

My friend was a captain in the Army (infantry) a few years ago, when he developed acute pneumonia. He had scarring on his lungs and decreased breathing capacity. He could still work at something (not infantry) and the Army didn't kick him out, but he went 2 cycles without being promoted. The message was that he needed to quit the Army, so he did.

It's the way it is and people (should) know it before they enlist.
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I just found it really interesting that the Mexican court would reinstate him even though he is a huge liability (assuming his health condition is good relative to his disease). Maybe they reinstated him to work in an office because I think they're taking a huge risk if they let him back into active duty. What would happen if they're working on some sort of mission, he gets a wound and so does someone else; the other person comes in contact with the HIV positive blood and now may have the disease.

I always find it interesting in the difference of policies (all sorts) between the U.S. and other countries in the world
Turtles: omg please don't put that in your moo moo

Nej: too late... moo moo has been infiltrated.
You know, this always comes down to what the majority of people want for a minority of people. One would think that if you are either doing what they think is right or correct then you are good, but once the "Status Quo" changes and someone is doing something that another thinks is wrong then all the sudden there is a problem.
Well let me tell you, I'm a CPT in the United States Army and I was raped while in Iraq and as a consequence the person who raped me was positive and so now I am as well.
Aside from the traumatic mental suffering I have from this incident, living with HIV is no joke; I have to take the same precaution I would if I had any other job.
While Im able to perform my duties to the utmost there are in fact allot of military thing that need to be done here in the US and not all of our operations are abroad.
So do not mistake while I do not enjoy my condition I would never use it as a crutch or an impediment to accomplish any task at hand.
Trust me is anyone get hurt while performing a field operation only qualified medical people come in to aid, not every soldiers training allows them to perform even the minimal, so don't be mistaken in that point.
And if one is separated involuntarily from service because of a medical condition then that is exactly what it is, nothing else.
I plan on joining the Air Force June of 09. Will they turn me down because I have Sickle Cell Trait?
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I think this was brought up before. And IMO if there's any chance this man's blood or bodily fluids could come in contact with another person and possibly infect them, then no he shouldn't be allowed back.
I plan on joining the Air Force June of 09. Will they turn me down because I have Sickle Cell Trait?
Originally Posted by TwoMoons
You can still join. Honestly, though...are you sure you can perform the training? I don't mean to scare you but sickle cell trait is supposedly one of the prominent causes of death among recruits, along with undiagnosed heart problems and dehydration. Every so often a story comes up in the news about a recruit that dies during training, and those are always the first things the doctors look for. Maybe you should talk to your doctor and make sure you are able to handle the physical stress.
I plan on joining the Air Force June of 09. Will they turn me down because I have Sickle Cell Trait?
Originally Posted by TwoMoons
You can still join. Honestly, though...are you sure you can perform the training? I don't mean to scare you but sickle cell trait is supposedly one of the prominent causes of death among recruits, along with undiagnosed heart problems and dehydration. Every so often a story comes up in the news about a recruit that dies during training, and those are always the first things the doctors look for. Maybe you should talk to your doctor and make sure you are able to handle the physical stress.
Originally Posted by tantrum
Okay, thanx for the info!
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I plan on joining the Air Force June of 09. Will they turn me down because I have Sickle Cell Trait?
Originally Posted by TwoMoons
You can still join. Honestly, though...are you sure you can perform the training? I don't mean to scare you but sickle cell trait is supposedly one of the prominent causes of death among recruits, along with undiagnosed heart problems and dehydration. Every so often a story comes up in the news about a recruit that dies during training, and those are always the first things the doctors look for. Maybe you should talk to your doctor and make sure you are able to handle the physical stress.
Originally Posted by tantrum
Okay, thanx for the info!
Originally Posted by TwoMoons
Uhhh doesn't sickle cell trait just mean that you carry the recessive gene for sickle cell....but you don't actually HAVE sickle cell? Carrying the trait for sickle cell and HAVING sickle cell are two TOTALLY different things...and from what I know about sickle cell carrying the trait doesn't cause any health manifestations.....unless you concieve with someone that also carries the trait....in which case your children have a 25% chance to being born with sickle cell disease.
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Having the sickle cell trait can cause health complications.

ArmyStrong, I am sorry that happened to you. I hope that you continue to remain healthy and successful in your career.
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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
Because of Sickle Cell Trait I get sick VERY easily. A year ago I had a kidney problem caused by my sickle cell trait. I'm afraid the doctor is going to say I can't join because of the kidney problem and because I can't excersice like the others and I get sick easily.
OTAKU 4 LIFE!!!!

"Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well.

I <3 Cats!
Because of Sickle Cell Trait I get sick VERY easily. A year ago I had a kidney problem caused by my sickle cell trait. I'm afraid the doctor is going to say I can't join because of the kidney problem and because I can't excersice like the others and I get sick easily.
Originally Posted by TwoMoons
You should seriously consider staying out of the military, even if you think you can get in. It doesn't sound like you would be a good fit (I was in the military myself so I know what the physical demands are). Please understand, I say this out of kindness and concern. There are always alternatives; the Civil Air Patrol, the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, CityYear, etc. There are lots of different ways to serve your country and the world.

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