ACLU Fights Peace Corps On “HIV Discrimination”

The Peace Corp tries to keep thing copacetic, but some queer policies spurred the ACLU into full-on war mode.

Former volunteer Jeremiah Johnson contacted the group after being booted from the Corp for contracting HIV. Obviously the experience was not positive:

I joined the Peace Corps because I wanted to learn more about the world and help people. It was hard enough to learn that I had contracted HIV, but to then be shipped home and told I was unworthy of finishing my service was incredibly humiliating.”

Denver-based Johnson had been the sole volunteer in the Ukraine for thirteen months when he found out he had HIV. That country, unfortunately, has laws prohibiting HIV positive people from working, which is simply ridiculous. Even more absurd, when Johnson moved back the States, he asked the Peace Corp to assign him to another country. They refused and, in fact, listed HIV contraction as his reason for termination. It reads, quite callously,

Your current medical condition has not resolved. This condition limits your ability to peform your volunteer assignment and has the very real potential for further aggravation during the reained of your Peace Corps service.

Now the ACLU has sent a very angry missive reminding the Peace Corps that they’re breaking federal discrimination laws. The group also insists the Peace Corp revisit or reveal its policies on HIV infection.

Johnson’s Peace Corp Termination Letter [PDF]