1 Dec 2021

HIV British armed forces ban to be lifted in 2022

Europe Editor and Presenter

People with HIV will be allowed to join the British armed forces for the first time next year, as the UK becomes only the second country in the world to lift a ban on their enlistment.

That ban dates back to the early stages of the HIV epidemic and has meant those living with the virus weren’t considered “fit for service”.

But with huge medical advances in treatment since then, the Ministry of Defence has acknowledged the policy is outdated. It’s also ending rules that see serving personnel who are diagnosed with HIV medically downgraded and therefore unable to serve overseas.

Campaigners have welcomed what they call “momentous” changes.

We spoke to Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander, Oliver Brown, who was diagnosed with HIV two years ago.