The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps — part of the Department of Health and Human Services — announced Thursday, on World AIDS Day, that it is changing its policies to allow future applicants living with HIV and chronic hepatitis B to join.In its announcement, the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps said that those living with HIV or chronic hepatitis B had previously been found to be medically disqualified.
The new standards change that.Thanks to treatments developed in recent years, living with both conditions have become manageable.
The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps said managing the two conditions are now like managing high blood pressure.“We want to encourage people to serve their country and for people in the medical and public health fields to be able to serve their country in the United States Public Health Service,” Admiral Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health, told The Advocate. “Because of these medical advances, there's no reason why patients with HIV and hepatitis, who meet the criteria in terms of their medical stability, can't serve.”Applicants living with HIV who are on treatment with antiretroviral therapy, are undetectable, and show no evidence of impaired immunity won’t be rejected due to the condition.
Similarly, applicants with chronic hepatitis B who have a low viral blood level and have no severe liver damage won’t either.The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is a uniformed service of the U.S.