The USPHS Commissioned Corps announced the change on December 1, which was World AIDS Day. Previously, HIV and hepatitis B infection were both considered disqualifying medical conditions. This new decision reflects the latest scientific evidence and opens the door for applicants with hepatitis B and HIV to serve as uniformed Public Health Service officers.
The Hepatitis B Foundation became aware of the prohibition of applicants with hepatitis B in late 2020, when an individual with hepatitis B applied to serve but was denied due to his hepatitis B infection and contacted the Foundation. Since then, the Foundation has worked alongside partners advocating for a change in this policy. Hepatitis B Foundation leadership met with senior administration officials to raise awareness and urge them to prioritize this issue. Through legislative advocacy, the Foundation was able to get report language included in the FY 2022 House Labor-HHS Appropriations report urging the USPHS to allow officers with hepatitis B to serve in the Commissioned Corps.
Hepatitis B Foundation issued a press release. Find it here!