Can You Join The Military With An Std
June 26, 2018 By Ben Ehinger
Before answering this very important question, its important to understand, not all STDs are the same. Personal transmitted diseases can range from easily curable to life-threatening. If you want to join the military with an STD, whether you qualify or you dont will depend on which STD you have.
Most STDs wont disqualify you from joining the military. When you look at the medical conditions related to disqualification, STDs are not really on the list. HSV1 and HSV2 will not keep you from joining and the only STD that may is HIV.
Its always best to contact a military recruiter before you decide to join the military. Recruiters have dealt with these issues before and can advise you on your specific condition.
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The Navy and Marine guidelines also tell service members to prevent pregnancy, as transmission of HIV between the mother and child may occur. But transmission between mother and child has become exceedingly rare. Its your right to procreate, says Catherine Hanssens, executive director of the HIV Law and Policy Center.
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A doctor can make a recommendation for a suggested medical waiver to a recruiting commander in the Coast Guard.
The same recommendation is plausible in any of the military branches as MEPS falls under the command of the DOD.
A recruiting commander has the power to accept or deny a military medical waiver.
The recruiting commander will factor the recommendation of the doctor assigned to you at MEPS as well as the objectives of the specific branch.
Unfortunately, there is no method of an appeal for recruits that get denied for a medical waiver.
Every waiver requires varying levels of review for approval so its hard to give an estimate in terms of time.
The best thing you can do is be open and honest with a recruiter about any underlying medical conditions.
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Frequently Asked Questions We Receive
Below are a few of the most popular questions we receive regarding potential military disqualifiers:
What sorts of medical conditions could disqualify you from joining the military?
There is a very long list of medical conditions that can affect potential future military service. It completely depends on several factors, including which branch you want to join, what medical condition you have, and more.
Can you join the military with a felony?
Like everything else in the military, it depends on a wide array of factors. They include the type of felony, when it was committed, which branch you want to join, and much more.
What can disqualify you from MEPS?
As mentioned previously, there are dozens of conditions that can disqualify you at MEPS. They include dental issues, eye / ear issues, hearing problems, and heart problems.
Are waivers available?
Certain medical conditions do allow you to receive a waiver under the right conditions. Those include waivers for eyesight, height / weight, and previous surgerys.
Coast Guard Disqualifying Medical Conditions
The U.S. Coast Guard follows the same guidelines as the other military branches.
MEPS is managed by the Department of Defense with the same temporary and permanent disqualifications.
Once again, speak to a recruiter if you have any of the following:
However, the Coast Guard is starting to apply more waivers to anxiety and depression than in the past.
Regardless, its still very difficult to receive a waiver for more serious mental health problems.
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Could Things Change In The Future
Yes. Things could certainly change in the future, depending on the STD. One of the issues the military faces with allowing service members to remain in the military or recruits to join the military with an STD is deployment. In some cases, a military service member isnt deployable after they contract an STD.
Again, this completely depends on the STD, as some can be treated once and they are gone, while others require ongoing treatment. The military has stressed deployment ability and STDs could put service members on the chopping block, if the STD keeps the service member from being deployed.
Unsafe And Unsound: Hiv Policy In The Us Military
abstract. Service members living with HIV are confronted with a set of policies regulating everything from their sexual behavior to their ability to hold certain jobs. Some of these rules impose criminal liability. Others make it difficult for people living with HIV to enlist, become commissioned officers, or deploy overseas.
The militaryâs approach was developed in the 1980s, and reflected the bleak outlook for those diagnosed with HIV at the time. Today, however, advances in treatment and prevention have transformed HIV from a deadly disease into a manageable chronic illnessâbut the militaryâs policies remain stuck in the past. In addition to being medically unsound, these policies unfairly single out service members with HIV, increase stigma, and are needlessly punitive. They are also vulnerable to legal challenge under the Administrative Procedure Act and the Fifth Amendment. Drawing on interviews with service members, lawyers, and public-health experts, this Comment makes the case for reform.
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Abdominal Organs And Gastrointestinal System
The following conditions may disqualify you from military service:
a. Esophagus. Ulceration, varices, fistula, achalasia, or other dysmotility disorders chronic or recurrent esophagitis if confirmed by appropriate X-ray or endoscopic examination.
b. Stomach and duodenum.
Gastritis. Chronic hypertrophic or severe.
Active ulcer of the stomach or duodenum confirmed by X-ray or endoscopy.
Congenital abnormalities of the stomach or duodenum causing symptoms or requiring surgical treatment, except a history of surgical correction of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis of infancy.
c. Small and large intestine.
Inflammatory bowel disease. Regional enteritis, ulcerative colitis, ulcerative proctitis.
Duodenal diverticula with symptoms or sequelae .
Intestinal malabsorption syndromes, including postsurgical and idiopathic.
Congenital. Condition, to include Meckel’s diverticulum or functional abnormalities, persisting or symptomatic within the past two years.
d. Gastrointestinal bleeding. History of, unless the cause has been corrected, and is not otherwise disqualifying.
e. Hepato-pancreatic-biliary tract.
Cirrhosis, hepatic cysts and abscess, and sequelae of chronic liver disease.
Cholecystitis, acute or chronic, with or without cholelithiasis, and other disorders of the gallbladder including post-cholecystectomy syndrome, and biliary system.
Note. Cholecystectomy is not disqualifying 60 days postsurgery , providing there are no disqualifying residuals from treatment.
Condition #5 Eyesight Issues
According to the standards of physical fitness provided by the Armed Forces, there are some eyesight issues that are disqualifying.
Armed Force members are required to maintain certain visual standards with or without visual correction devices such as spectacle lenses. The regulations for eyesight without a visual aid are:
- Soldiers must be able to see at least 20/40 in one eye, and 20/70 in the other eye.
- Or 20/30 in one eye and at least 20/100 in the other eye.
If a spectacle aid for eyesight is required the standards are:
- 20/20 in one eye and 20/400 in the other eye.
Entrance into US Military Academy or ROTC has additional requirements. The distant visual acuity must correct to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other. Vision below those standards is disqualifying.
Officer Candidate School OCS has standards of 20/20 and 20/100.
There is no standard set for color vision, which is a common concern. Though it will get tested for certain branches of the military , it is not a requirement to qualify.
However, it may restrict you from joining certain specialties of the U.S. Military.
For example, if you wanted to become a Navy SEAL, you must meet specific eyesight requirements.
They include 20/40 vision in your best eye, 20/70 vision in your worst eye, and it must be correctable to 20/25 with no color blindness.
There are several rare types of eyesight issues such as blepharitis, conjunctiva, cornea dystrophy, and iridocyclitis that are disqualifying diseases.
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J& j: Potential Hiv Vaccine Falls Short In Mid
FALLS CHURCH, Va. Lawyers for military service members whose careers were halted after testing positive for the AIDS virus asked a federal judge Monday to overturn policies restricting their service as irrational and discriminatory.
Lawsuits filed on behalf of two airmen and an Army National Guard sergeant say the military has no rational basis for holding the service members HIV status against them. The Air Force wants to discharge the two airmen from the service. The Army is refusing to grant an officer commission to the Army sergeant.
Rules regarding service of HIV-positive members are not consistent across the military. Generally, people HIV-positive cannot join the military. But those who test positive after enlisting face varying treatment.
The Air Force says it wants to discharge the two airmen even though their commanding officers recommended retaining them because their HIV status bars them from deploying worldwide, and it generally wants its airmen to be universally deployable. The plaintiffs say a similar rationale was used to deny an officer commission to Army Sgt. Nicholas Harrison, an Oklahoma native who is seeking to join the Judge Advocate General Corps after earning his law degree.
Lawyers for the government acknowledge that medical advances significantly reduce the risk of deploying HIV-positive service members. But they say the risks remain real, and urged the judge to grant deference to the military in handling the issue.
Staying In The Military If You Contract Hiv
If having HIV keeps you from getting into the Armed Forces, why dont people get kicked out if they contract HIV while serving?
Well, the Armed Forces invest a lot of taxpayer dollars in training service members, and they lose that investment if they just kick people out for getting an infection. So, they worked out a compromise: People can keep serving, but they have to stay in the United States .
But, being able to travel the world is one of the prime perks of being in the military, right? And, people who cant serve overseas can lose out on career opportunities that either require foreign travel or benefit from having done it.
As if thats not enough, if you test positive in the military, youre also under orders to practice safe sex and you can be punished by military courts for violating the safe-sex orders .
Does that sound fair? Hint, the answer starts with N and ends with o.
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Endocrine And Metabolic Disorders
The following conditions may disqualify you from military service:
a. Adrenal dysfunction of any degree.
b. Diabetes mellitus of any type.
c. Glycosuria. Persistent, when associated with impaired glucose tolerance or renal tubular defects.
d. Acromegaly. Gigantism or other disorder of pituitary function.
Goiter, persistent or untreated.
Hypothyroidism, uncontrolled by medication.
i. Nutritional deficiency diseases. Such diseases include beriberi, pellagra and scurvy.
j. Other endocrine or metabolic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, porphyria and amyloidosis that obviously prevent satisfactory performance of duty or require frequent or prolonged treatment.
Can You Join The Military With Asthma
Can you join the military with asthma? The short answer is it depends. The military has a long and varied history of how they handle recruits with different medical conditions. Generally, the rule is medical conditions that impact availability and effectiveness are automatic disqualifiers. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard for people to breathe, especially during bouts of prolonged exercise. In this article, well look at how all 5 branches of the military view asthma and what to do if you have asthma and still want to serve your country.
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How Likely Is A Medical Waiver To Be Approved
Unfortunately, I cannot predict that outcome. I dont play a doctor on the Internet, and Im not involved in the recruiting process, MEPS processes, or any appeals boards. This is not my area of profession and I do not speak for the military. So I dont want to give any false impressions.
What I can tell you is that some medical conditions are simply ineligible for waivers. Other conditions may be waiverable, provided the member meets the medical standards for waivers as outlined in the DODI .
The best thing you can do is arm yourself with the applicable knowledge and have the willingness to do the legwork required to get the medical examinations, file the paperwork, etc.
Finally, dont lie when trying to join the military. It never ends well. In fact, it can end with a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and benefits, or even legal action. Its simply not worth the stain on your record.
For more information, you can read this Guide for Getting a Medical Waiver to Join the Military. This article and podcast explain the medical waiver process and the process for finding information, submitting documents, and much more. Its very helpful.
Structural Level Factors: Access To Sexual Health Resources And Social Support
Participants also identified structural barriers to HIV testing and outreach including education and awareness around sexual health, and the need for social support regardless of HIV status. Across interviews, participants described how structural barriers contributed to HIV stigma in the U.S. military and offered strategies for resolving them.
Sexual health resources
Limited awareness and availability of HIV prevention education and resources were consistently identified as an issue among participants. Across interviews, participants indicated that members of the U.S. military were in need of more sexual health courses and a broader diffusion of sexual health education and prevention tools. This need for increased awareness of HIV and broader implementation of sexual health education is illustrated by participant 39s response:
The best way to reach service members. Awareness. I would say for the time, I mean right now when we have any type of town halls, meetings, commanders calls where we want to bring up public announcements to the masses in our units like to prevent or curb drunk driving or safety-related messages for like winter safety or summer safety, whatever, throw in other things like health concerns. You might be talking about suicide awareness or sexual harassment prevention, well what about STI awareness like sexually transmitted infections.
Further participant 21 points to the lack of human connection in the training individuals receive:
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Is The Military High Risk For Contracting Hiv
The military, depending on how you look at it, could be seen as high risk for contracting HIV, says Matt Rose, policy and advocacy manager with the National Minority AIDS Council in Washington D.C. The military likes to treat every service member the same, but it makes testing for HIV inefficient.. Former Cpt.
Skin And Cellular Tissues
The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:
a. Acne, severe or when extensive involvement of the neck, shoulders, chest, or back would be aggravated by or interfere with the wearing of military equipment, and would not be amenable to treatment. Patients under treatment with isotretinoin are medically unacceptable until eight weeks after completion of course of therapy.
b. Atopic dermatitis or eczema, with active or residual lesions in characteristic areas , or documented history thereof after the age of 8.
c. Contact dermatitis, especially involving rubber or other materials used in any type of required protective equipment.
Cysts, other than pilonidal, of such a size or location as to interfere with the normal wearing of military equipment.
Pilonidal cysts, if evidenced by the presence of a tumor mass or a discharging sinus. History of pilonidal cystectomy within six months before examination is disqualifying.
e. Dermatitis factitia.
f. Bullous dermatoses, such as Dermatitis Herpetiformis, pemphigus and epidermolysis bullosa.
g. Chronic Lymphedema.
h. Fungus infections, systemic or superficial types, if extensive and not amenable to treatment.
i. Furunculosis, extensive recurrent or chronic.
j. Hyperhidrosis of hands or feet, chronic or severe.
k. Ichthyosis, or other congenital or acquired anomalies of the skin such as nevi or vascular tumors that interfere with function or are exposed to constant irritation.
m. Leprosy, any type.
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Availability Of Data And Materials
Due to the sensitive nature and higher likelihood of identification of patients, which could realistically include adverse impact to HIV-infected United States Army personnel still in service and possible insurability and employability impacts, data cannot be made publicly available. For questions about data, contact the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Public Affairs Office at .
Condition #6 Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is an issue that affects every single human. However, some individuals have a harder time appropriately dealing with it than others. In certain cases, they may even get diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
The military realizes that some anxiety is normal. However, since anxiety is considered a mental health issue it will check your medical background for any perceived risks.
The biggest mental health factor the military assesses is a history of suicidal behavior. Though that is more connected to depression than anxiety, it will also consider previous or current issues.
Some disqualifying conditions include:
- Simple phobias
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Likewise, specific phobias such as a fear of specific animals like spiders, snakes, or dogs , fear of specific environments like heights or thunderstorms , and situational fears like bridges or driving can all be grounds for military disqualification.
Of course, this all depends on the extent of your phobia, and whether or not youve been treated for it in the recent past.
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Tumors And Malignant Diseases
The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:
a. Benign tumors that interfere with function, prevent wearing the uniform or protective equipment, would require frequent specialized attention or have a high malignant potential.
b. Malignant tumors , exception for basal cell carcinoma, removed with no residual. In addition, the following cases should be qualified if on careful review they meet the following criteria: individuals who have a history of childhood cancer who have not received any surgical or medical cancer therapy for five years and are free of cancer individuals with a history of Wilms tumor and germ cell tumors of the testis treated surgically and/or with chemotherapy after a two-year, disease-free interval off all treatment individuals with a history of Hodgkin’s disease treated with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy and disease free off treatment for five years individuals with a history of large cell lymphoma after a two-year, disease-free interval off all therapy.