This today from the CNN Wire:
State Department relaxes rules for HIV-positive diplomat applicants
WASHINGTON (CNN) — People who are HIV-positive will no longer be automatically disqualified from the U.S. Foreign Service under new State Department rules issued Friday.
Instead, applicants for diplomatic jobs will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as is done with other perspective Foreign Service officers with medical conditions such as cancer.
Gonzo Gallegos, a State Department spokesman, said the department “never had a policy prohibiting HIV-positive individuals from entering the Foreign Service. We have a policy requiring that all Foreign Service officers be worldwide available, as determined by a medical examination, at the time of entry into the Foreign Service. That hasn’t changed.”
–From CNN State Department Producer Elise Labott
Reviewing them on a case-by-case basis is fair. Certainly some people with HIV, like some with cancer or other medical conditions, can still serve in hardship posts. It would not be fair to those of us already in the service, however, to have people who were not world wide available at the time of hire to be brought in because that means there are that many fewer jobs at non-hardship posts for us to take after serving one or more hardship tours. It is one thing to lose your medical clearance over time through aging, illness, or the toll hardship posts can take on your health. It is another to be exempt from the hardship tours from before you ever join. Much like the military demands certain health standards, so must the Foreign Service.
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