Israeli army says it will draft HIV carriers

TEL AVIV (JTA) – The Israel Defense Forces will now draft carriers of HIV, changing its policy.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Col. Moshe Pinkert, head of the IDF’s Medical Services Department, said that due to advances in treatment for HIV that increases the vitality of its carriers, and given a low risk of contagion, HIV carriers can now serve in non-combat positions.

The announcement was timed to World AIDS Day.

Combat would be too dangerous, Pinkert said, given the risk of heavy bleeding from wounds. The policy change is expected to affect dozens of people.

To be drafted, HIV carriers will have to receive a declaration of health from a physician.

“This is an important move to accept these people in society, to lessen the social stigma and make them part of Israeli society,” Pinkert said. “With this, we’re making them like all the people Israel.”

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