A group of South African soldiers, with the help of the trade union The South African Security Forces Union (SASFU), have filed discrimination lawsuits against their country’s Defense Ministry for not recruiting soldiers who have HIV and for denying promotions to soldiers who are HIV-positive, reports the BBC (bbc.co.uk, 5/15). Some 35 percent of the South African army is believed to be HIV-positive.

The article states that although Deputy-President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka last year vowed that HIV-positive soldiers would be treated fairly, the military’s policies seem unchanged. “Being HIV-negative is a pre-requisite to gain employment in SANDF [South African National Defense Force],” states SASFU’s deputy president, Charles Jacobs, citing the defense force’s mandatory testing policy and denial of deployment abroad.