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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

HIV-Infected Sailor Forced to Sweep Floors, Panel Told


Toronto Globe and Mail (06/20/92), P. A7

A sailor from Halifax, Canada, says he was transferred from electronic weaponry training to sweeping floors at a drill hall following his disclosure to the Canadian Forces Maritime Command in 1986 that he was a homosexual with HIV. Simon Thwaites had received six years of training in the use of advanced tracking devices and weaponry. After his disclosure, however, he said officers at CFB Halifax restricted his security clearance so he could not serve on a ship. In addition, Maritime Command assigned a special investigation unit to examine Thwaites' sexual history. Thwaites told the Canadian Human Rights Commission Friday that his senior officers tried to convince him to leave the military and assigned him menial tasks that included a two-year stint as night watchman at the petty officers' mess. Thwaites was dismissed from the navy in 1989 and is now seeking compensation from the commission because of the humiliation and financial losses he experienced. Thwaites learned of his infection in January 1986, and started taking AZT in late 1987. The navy believed that he had to be near a source of the drug, and ordered him to either accept a release or stay in the forces with no career opportunities. The hearings for Thwaites' case have adjourned until July 28.


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