Israel to begin enlisting HIV-positive soldiers

December 2, 2015, 4:36am

AP on News24

Jerusalem - Israel's military says it will begin enlisting soldiers who are HIV-positive.

Colonel Moshe Pinkert, the head of the military's medical services department, said on Tuesday the decision was made following developments in the treatment of the virus that causes Aids. He calls it an important step in efforts to reduce stigma in Israeli society.

In the past, HIV-positive people were automatically deemed unfit to serve for medical reasons. Over the last decade, those insisting on enlisting were examined on a case by case basis and sometimes allowed to volunteer.

The new policy will allow soldiers who are HIV-positive to serve, although not in combat, so long as they meet a series of criteria.

Pinkert said the change is expected to affect only a handful of soldiers per year.