Military Pulls Student Out of Academy Due To HIV

Mercedes Maldonado

  The military is a very important part of our country. The military protects us and keeps us and other countries protected from danger as much as possible. The military doesn’t discriminate, unfortunately, they do if you happen to be “not medically qualified”. 

   According to Peacock News and  abc News a 20-year old college student from Revere, Massachusetts said he had tested positive for HIV in October of 2020. This student was only in their sophomore year at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. This student filed a complaint in federal court that he had been deemed unfit for service when he discovered he had HIV. The student had been dropped from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and the Vermont Army National Guard. The student was healthy, they were asymptomatic and on a treatment regimen that renders their viral load undetectable. 

   Unfortunately, despite all of this, they were still kicked out of the academy and were informed that they would not be getting a scholarship through the ROTC or any other benefits related to military service. They wouldn’t be receiving a state tuition waiver, medical, or dental coverage from ROTC. Even though they had been training and going through the ROTC system they would still not receive the benefits. 

   Now according to abc News, under the Department of Defense regulations, “”HIV is among a lengthy list of health conditions that automatically disqualify a person from enlisting, being appointed as a commissioned officer or enrolling as an ROTC scholarship cadet.”” The student’s lawyer responded, saying that the HIV policies date back to the 1980s when there was little information on the health condition and very little treatments for HIV. The lawsuit asks the court to invalidate the military regulations and policies against HIV that led to the students’ dismissal from the National Guard and ROTC so that others with the same condition are not delayed or withheld from any form of a military position.