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Will having herpes disqualify me from joining the military?

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No, HSV1 or HSV2 should not be disqualifying factors. I think the only one that is, is HIV. As long as you're in the clear for that one, you should be just fine.


To be safe, call a recruiter (not the one you are using) and ask them what they say to do. I don't believe they even test for it. That said, you will want to have it on your medical records so that if you need medication you can get it. Plus, if they find out you had it before enlisting and didn't include it in your ongoing medical conditions list, it can be reason for discharge.


I spent years overseas next to a military base in Asia. There were more bugs floating around that place than a landfill; I know they won't kick you out if you contract something while in service, so I don't see why they would if you go in with something.

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To be honest, even before I looked this us, I figured if they discounted people for Herpes, 3/4 of their recruits would be unable to sign up :/


From what I can see it would only be cause for issue with them if it's not controllable ... ie, if you can't control the breakouts with or without suppressive meds. So you should be ok


So this is the Military Guidelines for Health Disqualifications




2–14. Genitalia

b. Male genitalia

(6) Current or history of genital infection or ulceration, including, but not limited to herpes genitalis (054.13) and condyloma acuminatum (078.11), if of sufficient severity to require frequent intervention or to interfere with normal function, does not meet the standard

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Hi Farfromperfect,


I am retired military, petty sure hsv1/2 aren't disqualifying for the military. Or at least they didn't use to be. HIV is totally different - being blood transmitted. The military idea is for everyone to be a walking talking blood bank for each other. Going with Herry idea of contacting a different recruiter would be a good idea - maybe ever several - just to make sure of their info. The army website should also give a full listing of medically disqualifying conditions. Lastly, the military will not kick people out sometimes when you develop a condition while on active duty, but same condition would keep you from enlisting in first place. Lastly, even if disqualifying - some conditions can be waived.


Good luck - Ra

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks for the info- I have a friend who I had sex with about 2 days before my outbreak. He is military - I didn't know I was infected at the time- I am worried I may have ruined his military career. If anyone is currently in the ranks and has hsv2 can you please let me know- private message me or something. I really just want something definitive to go to him with so he will feel a bit more comforted than he does right now. He thinks that if u pop pos for h twice then u are medically discharged. The stuff I've read says they don't even check for H thru blood (what would be the point since 80% have one or the other and they really can't distinguish conclusively). I don't wanna argue with him but would like to be able to say hey check this out...

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I doubt you have ruined his military career. Hsv doesn't kill you and is totally controllable long as you're not putting your pecker into everything unprotected. Lol My bf or whatever (haha) is in the army and recently gave me hsv. It hasn't interfered with work. I

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Is it possible to have out breaks that aren't super noticeable?


Blood tests CAN differentiate between type 1 and type 2..


I'm guessing that he's confusing HIV with HSV... the concern there would be that it's very common to get injured in training and in combat and they are worried about HIV because it's a blood borne pathogen. HSV will only transfer with SEXUAL contact so it shouldn't be an issue unless it keeps them from working.

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Speaking from semi experience with this. They don't even test for it. They do the standard STD testing before and during your time in the military. HIV is the only one that they will not allow you to join. Anything curable and not on the standard STD panel isn't an issue.


I picked up herpes from someone shortly after his time in the military was up. He didn't know he had it.

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