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June 6, 2018

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HIVMA Weighs in on Peace Corps HIV Policy

News that the Peace Corps had recently discharged volunteers who were diagnosed with HIV while serving has concerned HIVMA leaders, who remembered taking a stance against the agency’s policy following the discharge of a volunteer a decade ago. Back then, after HIVMA filed a friend of the court brief in a case led by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Peace Corps had announced a policy revision, allowing people living with HIV to serve.

With the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors Executive Director Murray Penner, HIVMA Chair Melanie Thompson, MD, sent this letter on May 8 to Peace Corps officials inquiring about the basis of the current policy, and offering their professional insights on eligibility of people living with HIV to serve as well as the opportunity to further discuss the policy. 

When Peace Corps officials had not responded on May 22, the IDSA/HIVMA Science Speaks blog published the letter with a post discussing HIVMA’s involvement with the issue. The Peace Corps sent this response by courier the following day. HIVMA and NASTAD are discussing further input.

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