Army Regulation 600-110 (AR 600-110) - Identification, Surveillance, and Administration of Personnel Infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus was previously published in August 2012. It is now superseded by the most recent version, published in April 2014. This “rapid action revision” makes minimal policy changes, all of which affect reserve component (RC) personnel only. The changes are:
· All RC called to active duty (AD) or scheduled for overseas deployment or temporary duty (TDY) must have a negative HIV test within 2 years of the date they are called to AD, regardless of length of deployment or duty. AR 600-110 §§ 3-2(k)(1), 7-4(a)(6) (eliminating provision allowing for a negative HIV test within 5 years for RC personnel called to AD, overseas deployment, or TDY for less than 30 days).
· RC personnel not on AD are required to have a current HIV test every 2 years. AR 600-110 § 7-4(a)(3) (changing from previous requirement of every 5 years).
· RC personnel performing inactive-duty training, on a temporary disability retired list, or performing AD National Guard for 30 days or less are required to have a current HIV test. AR 600-110 § 7-4(5) (change to unspecified time requirement from previous requirement of every 5 years).
· Army National Guard (ARNG) and U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Selected Reserve screening will be conducted every 2 years. AR 600-110 § 7-5(a) (change from previous requirement of screening every 2 years).
· Soldiers assigned to individual ready reserve (IRR) individual mobilization augmentee (IMA) programs will be tested during annual training if their last HIV test is older than 2 years. AR 600-110 § 7-5(e) (change from previous requirement for test no older than 4 years). Soldiers’ physical examinations performed by civilian contract will be considered “interim complete” if there is a documented HIV test no older than 2 years. Id (change from previous requirement for test no older than 4 years).
The efficacy of the revised publication is questionable in light of Section 572 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA), which requires an assessment of whether military policies regarding PLHW “reflect an evidence-based, medically accurate understanding of how these conditions are contracted, how these conditions can be transmitted to other individuals, and the risk of transmission,” to be submitted no later than June 24, 2014. National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-66, § 572 (2013). The policies present serious issues, including opt-out HIV education and information programs, uncounseled mandatory testing, unnecessary exceptions to confidentiality, institutional barriers to career advancement and training opportunities, imposition of deployment and overseas assignment restrictions, employment discrimination from non-civilian personnel, and outright rejection of PLWH seeking to serve.
Despite policies that stigmatize and curtail the rights of PLWH in the Army, the NDAA-mandated assessment is all but ignored. Scientific and medical explanations are missing throughout the document except for a few ambiguous references to the Surgeon General, CDC, Public Health Service, U.S. Army Public Health Command, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration that amount to formulaic recitations of the NDAA requirement. Furthermore, the references contain only one non-policy, scientific or medical document, found under “Related Publications” (sources of additional information, unnecessary for the reader to understand the publication). This sole reference is a CDC publication dated November, 1985.