Main | Thursday, July 17, 2008

HIV Travel Ban Repealed

And the United States inches closer to the civilized world....
AIDS Action applauds the Senate for overwhelming, bipartisan passage of the Lantos/Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act (S 2731), which reauthorizes the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The organization particularly commends the lifting of the statutory requirement that bars travel and immigration to the U.S. by HIV positive non-citizens. Also noteworthy are the mention and recognition of HIV prevention, care and treatment needs of men who have sex with men (MSM) and the removal of the directive requiring that 33% of prevention funds be spent on "abstinence-only until marriage" programs.

"PEPFAR has had significant success in saving lives and preventing new cases of HIV infection," said Ronald Johnson, Deputy Executive Director of AIDS Action. "Continuation of PEPFAR ensures expansion and sustainability of the greatest global heath initiative in history," he added. "The lifting of the travel and immigration bar removes the blemish on the United States leadership on HIV and AIDS. We are especially pleased that this discriminatory law has finally been repealed." AIDS Action urges prompt and timely final passage of the legislation and urges the President to sign the Lantos/Hyde bill.
The bill was passed WITHOUT Sen. Elizabeth Dole's repulsive attempt to rename it after Jesse Helms, the very scumbag who created the travel ban in the first place.

All in all, we have four wins today*.

1. People with HIV are now eligible to visit and immigrate to the United States.
2. Third world countries will get desperately needed funds to fight AIDS.
3. Opposition to Elizabeth Dole's re-election has been supercharged.
4. Andrew Sullivan gets to stay in the United States.

*One of these four may not please everybody.

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