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NCJ Number: 156742 Find in a Library
Title: Safe Sex ... or Else: Using the Court-Martial System in the Military to Limit the Spread of AIDS
Journal: Criminal Justice  Volume:5  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:16-21
Author(s): E R Milhizer
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 6
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the U.S. military's program for limiting the incidence and spread of AIDS among military personnel.
Abstract: The military has taken an aggressive and multifaceted approach to the AIDS crisis. Special procedures are in effect at the time of induction, as military personnel are screened for the HIV virus. Education about AIDS and mandatory periodic testing continue throughout a service member's active-duty career. Medical treatment, both while on active duty and after separation, is available to all service members who have the HIV virus or AIDS. With medical counseling, epidemiological assessment, the limited-use policy, and a structured release of information, the armed forces have actively sought to control the spread of AIDS both within the armed forces and in the civilian community. As part of this integrated response, the court-martial system has been used increasingly to punish and deter behavior that can spread the virus. Recent cases decided by the military's appellate courts have confirmed that the military justice system will play an important role in fighting the spread of AIDS. Decisions of the military's highest court show that at least three offenses -- disobedience of a lawful order, reckless endangerment, and aggravated assault -- are appropriate to prosecute military members infected with the HIV virus who engage in behavior that causes unacceptable risk to others. HIV positivity is also considered as an aggravating sentencing factor in appropriate cases. Whether the rationale of these cases can and should be applied to civilian society warrants consideration.
Main Term(s): AIDS/HIV prevention
Index Term(s): AIDS/HIV testing policies; Courts martial; Military justice
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