US is finally joining the Civilized world as Obama lifts the 22 year long HIV ban on infected visitors coming to our country. Visitors who have HIV would be allowed to travel and immigrate to the United States.
The president signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 at the White House Friday and also spoke of the new rules, which have been under development more more than a year.
The regulations are the final procedural step in ending the ban, and will be published Monday in the Federal Register, to be followed by the standard 60-day waiting period prior to implementation.
A ban on travel and immigration to the U.S. by individuals with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was first established by the Reagan-era U.S. Public Health Service and then given further support when Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) added HIV to the travel-exclusion list in a move that was ultimately passed unanimously by the Senate in 1987.
The president had the following to say:
A couple of years ago Michelle and I were in Africa and we tried to combat the stigma when we were in Kenya by taking a public HIV/AIDS test. And I’m proud to announce today we’re about to take another step towards ending that stigma.
Twenty-two years ago, in a decision rooted in fear rather than fact, the United States instituted a travel ban on entry into the country for people living with HIV/AIDS. Now, we talk about reducing the stigma of this disease — yet we’ve treated a visitor living with it as a threat. We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic — yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people from HIV from entering our own country.If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it.
We welcome this decision and hope that in country HIV waiver will be now in a much better position to be approved even for applicants without qualifying relatives.
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