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President Signs Bill Repealing Discriminatory HIV Travel

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7/30/2008

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today called on the Department of Health and Human Services to update its regulations following the President’s signing of legislation to reauthorize PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Included in this measure was a provision to repeal our nation’s discriminatory law barring HIV-positive visitors and immigrants. The PEPFAR bill passed the Senate on July 16 and the U.S. House passed the bill last week.

"We appreciate the President signing the repeal of this unjust and sweeping policy that deems HIV-positive individuals inadmissible to the United States," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "The HIV travel and immigration ban performs no public health service, is unnecessary and ineffective. We thank our allies on the Hill who fought to end this injustice and now call on Secretary of Health and Human Services Leavitt to remove the remaining regulatory barriers to HIV-positive visitors and immigrants."

HRC has been a lead organization lobbying on Capitol Hill for the repeal and will continue to work to ensure that Department of Health and Human Services’ regulations are changed. The Human Rights Campaign has worked closely with the offices of Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR), as well as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), the sponsor of an effort to repeal the ban in the House of Representatives. Both Sen. Kerry and Rep. Lee participated in a national media conference call held by HRC in March. In addition to action alerts urging members to contact their Senators, HRC and Immigration Equality drafted a coalition letter on behalf of more than 165 organizations in support of the Kerry-Smith provision in the PEPFAR bill, and directly lobbied numerous Senate offices on the repeal measure.

In December of 2007, Senators Kerry and Smith introduced legislation, the HIV Non-Discrimination in Travel and Immigration Act (S. 2486), to repeal the ban. In the House, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced similar the legislation, H.R. 3337, in August 2007. The travel and immigration ban prohibits HIV-positive foreign nationals from entering the U.S. unless they obtain a special waiver, which is difficult to obtain and can only allow for short-term travel. Current policy also prevents the vast majority of foreign nationals with HIV from obtaining legal permanent residency in the United States.

The ban originated in 1987, and explicitly codified by Congress in 1993, despite efforts in the public health community to remove the ban when Congress reformed U.S. immigration law in the early 1990s. While immigration law currently excludes foreigners with any "communicable disease of public health significance" from entering the U.S., only HIV is explicitly named in the statute. For all other illnesses, the Secretary of Health and Human Services retains the ability, with the medical expertise of his department, to determine which illnesses truly pose a risk to public health.



The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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Users who thank homerx for this post: guest28791 

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replied January 11th, 2009
Sad part is
The US has nothing to really offer as far as HIV+ treatment. you have to go to third world countries to find real treatment, Mexico as of Sept 2008 passed a very similar bill, the only difference is the bill was to allow the importation of many different meds for the treatment of HIV. All the US does is arrest many well intended Dr's for using the real treatment that works. you must wonder what the true agendas really are? God bless the underground!

Peace
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Users who thank Franky01 for this post: homerx 

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replied January 12th, 2009
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Re: Sad part is
Franky01 wrote:
God bless the underground!
Right On!
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replied January 12th, 2009
Re: Sad part is
homerx wrote:
Franky01 wrote:
God bless the underground!
Right On!


you bet ya, When i go up into the frontiers of Mexico "Border towns" I see hundreds of Americans flooding the pharmacies to get life saving meds, they otherwise would not have access to, so sad. I watched a Church Bus of old ladies and men that came to Mexico to buy these very life saving drugs, and the US Border agents arrested and placed fines on all of them, not to mention took there meds. Now many Americans must risk Federal prosecution "why" all they want to do is live! But must break laws to do it.

Where is the freedom in that?
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replied January 12th, 2009
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Yeah,land of the free my butt...I guess its the land of the free if you have $$$ and R young,straight,white and Republican...I dont know, I say let the people have there meds from Mexico and leave them the hell alone!
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replied January 13th, 2009
I like you thoughts my man
the last time i looked i thought freedom meant freedom of choice! Not A NAZI TYPE FREEDOM OF MONEY AND CONTROL! I played the game! not anymore as i become educated on a very dirty system! No F*** will ever tell me what i put in my body, as long i never hurt another. sad to say freedom does have a hefty price !

Peace
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replied January 13th, 2009
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Re: I like you thoughts my man
Franky01 wrote:
sad to say freedom does have a hefty price !

Peace
Right On.
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