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South Africa: National Defense Force Concedes Discrimination Against HIV Positive Individuals Unlawful

(June 2, 2008) The South African National Defense Force (SANDF) and the AIDS Law Project, representing the South African Security Forces' Union and individual members of the military, reached a “concept agreement,” which was later turned into a court order, before the Pretoria High Court. Under the agreement, the SANDF concedes that its employment policy prohibiting HIV positive individuals from enlisting in the South African army is unconstitutional.

The court order, in addition to recording SANDF's concession of the illegality of its employment policy, mandates that SANDF develop a “health-classification policy within six months, consider the promotion and foreign deployment of one of its members with HIV, and immediately employ a man prevented from enlisting for the sole reason of his HIV positive status.” (Army Agrees HIV Discrimination Unlawful, MAIL AND GUARDIAN ONLINE, May 19, 2008, available at news/breaking_news__national/.)