Thursday, July 17, 2008

HIV Travel Ban Lifted!

Although it hasn't officially passed The House and become law, it appears that, upon clearing approval in The Senate, one of the most ridiculous and mean-spirited laws to grow out of HIV fear in this country is going to be repealed. The Senate passed a bill authorizing increased funding for PEPFAR, and attached to that bill was a measure to eliminate the travel ban for HIV+ visitors.

Senate changes will have to be worked out with the House. Those include a measure added to the Senate bill by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Gordon Smith, R-Ore., that would reverse a policy that has made it difficult for HIV-positive foreigners to visit or seek residency in the United States.

"For 20 years the United States has barred HIV-positive travelers from entering the country even for one day," said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality. "Today the Senate said loud and clear that AIDS exceptionalism must come to an end."

And while activists and bloggers are falling all over themselves congratulating our lawmakers about a job well done, all I will grudgingly say is:

"About fuckin' time!"

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