US ends discrimination of HIV-positive candidates for its diplomatic corps

Under pressure from a lawsuit, the State Department is changing rules that had disqualified HIV-positive people from becoming US diplomats. Effective Friday, the department removed HIV from a list of medical conditions that automatically prevent foreign service candidates from meeting an employment requirement that they be able to work anywhere in the world. The change was made after consultation with medical experts and in response to a lawsuit filed by an HIV-positive man who was denied entry into the foreign service despite being otherwise qualified, the department said. Officials denied that the policy ever intentionally discriminated against HIV-positive people and noted that the policy had applied only to incoming diplomats, not those who had contracted the virus or other diseases while in the foreign service.