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Response from HIVMA Chair Rajesh T. Gandhi, MD, FIDSA to President Biden Lifting the Ban on Transgender Individuals Serving in the Military

President Biden’s actions to prevent and address discrimination against LGBTQ individuals are important steps forward for equality and for public health. The executive order signed today that lifts the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military will recognize the service and the rights of the estimated 15,000 transgender individuals currently serving in the military. As frontline clinicians, our members see firsthand the harmful impacts of stigma and discrimination on access to health care services, contributing to late diagnoses and poor outcomes for serious conditions, including HIV. The action today and last week’s executive order preventing discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation are critical to improving our nation’s public health and to advancing efforts to end HIV as an epidemic in the U.S. As a next step, we urge the Administration to remove the restrictions on people with HIV serving in the military.

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