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Military Health System

Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program

The Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) is responsible for assisting foreign military partners with the development and implementation of culturally focused, military-specific HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs in more than 55 countries around the globe.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has a devastating impact on many militaries and other uniformed organizations worldwide by reducing military readiness, limiting deployments, causing physical and emotional decline in infected individuals and their families, posing risks to military personnel and their extended communities, and impeding peacekeeping activities. DHAPP employs an integrated bilateral and regional strategy for HIV/AIDS cooperation and security assistance.

President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

DHAPP also is the DOD implementing agency for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), established in 2003. In coordination with the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Health and Human Services, and the Peace Corps, the PEPFAR team works together to stop the spread of the AIDS virus and reach sustainable epidemic control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

DHAPP’s overall strategy is to work within PEPFAR governance to achieve a healthy and functional military force, which can serve to provide stability and safety to the national and regional population.

PEPFAR supports UNAIDS “90-90-90” goals: 90 percent of people with HIV diagnosed, 90 percent of those diagnosed on antiretroviral treatment (ART), and 90 percent of those on ART virally suppressed by 2020. As PEPFAR continues its data-driven approach to reach these ambitious goals, DHAPP’s responsibility is to ensure that military populations can also achieve targets at a similar pace to their civilian counterparts. 

What We Do

Nearly all militaries around the world screen out HIV-positive individuals seeking to enlist, and yet most militaries have similar or higher HIV prevalence of their comparable civilians. DHAPP plans activities and sets targets based on the specific context of the partner military and the clients seen at military heath facilities. DHAPP also uses information from military HIV seroprevalence studies, programmatic data, or other sources of HIV epidemiologic information to implement programs at military locations with a significant burden of HIV.

Current strategies and interventions employed by DHAPP include:

  • Index case HIV testing (testing spouses, sexual partners, and all children of women who test HIV-positive)
  • Documentation of every new HIV-positive individual and linking him or her into care and treatment
  • Periodically updating military HIV policies to address HIV testing strategies, chain of command notifications, deployments, stigma and discrimination, and antiretroviral treatment initiation and retention to reflect changes in international normative guidance
  • Antiretroviral treatment services thru mobile units
  • Condom and lubricant (where feasible) promotion, skills building, and facilitated access to condoms
  • Promotion of voluntary medical male circumcision services which can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection in HIV-negative men by 60%
  • Stigma and discrimination prevention training 

To learn more, please visit the HIV/AIDS Prevention & Treatment Webpage.

Policy Documents

File Description
DoD Instruction 6485.01: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Military Service Members Updates policy for the identification, surveillance, and management of military personnel infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and for prevention activities to control transmission of HIV.
DoD Directives 6485.02E: DoD Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Prevention Program (DHAPP) to Support Foreign Militaries This directive reissues DoD Directive (DoDD) 6485.02E (Reference (a)) to establish policy and assign responsibilities for DHAPP to support foreign militaries pursuant to Public Law 110-293 (Reference (b)); designates the Secretary of the Navy as the DoD Executive Agent (EA) for DHAPP in accordance with DoDD 5101.1 (Reference (c)); updates the responsibilities for the Coordinating Board for DHAPP (referred to in this directive as the Coordinating Board (CB)), consistent with DoD Instruction (DoDI) 5105.18 (Reference (d)).

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Last Updated: October 19, 2022
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