U.S. To Lift HIV Travel Ban


U.S. to lift HIV travel ban The Obama administration has announced it will drop HIV from the list of diseases that prevent visitors from entering the country, beginning on Jan. 1, 2010.

The ban was first introduced in 1987 and, among other things, required those who aspired to immigrate to the U.S. to submit to HIV testing.

In announcing the step, President Obama said that "we talk about reducing the stigma of this disease, yet we have treated a visitor living with it as a threat," quoted by the Voice of America.

He also added that it was inconsistent with America’s status as a leader in research on AIDS and its efforts to stem the pandemic to bar people who are HIV-positive from entering the country.

The move was praised by interest groups such as The Lesbian & Gay Foundation from the UK whose representative Andrew Gilliver expressed his hope that "by lifting the negative stigma associated with the ban, hopefully this long overdue move will inspire others to fight HIV stigma in a similar way."

The foundation has cited data from the advocacy group Immigration Equality which suggest that 11 other countries ban HIV-positive travelers and immigrants, and they include Armenia, Brunei, Iraq, Libya, Moldova, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Sudan.

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to yousoundoff@personalliberty.com by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.