The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy carries with it health hazards for military personnel, the military at large and the general public, according to an editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Kenneth A. Katz, MD, of the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University, asserts that LGBT servicemen and women scared of disclosing their sexual history aren’t diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections (STIs)—including HIV—and go untreated. These STIs in turn cause illnesses that compromise troop readiness, prevent service members from being deployed and substantially increase health care costs borne by the military.

To read the NEJM editorial, click here.