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Obama signs HIV/AIDS bill extension; implements lifting of AIDS travel ban

red_ribbonWow, another move to actually improve the lives of queer people by a President that has spewed mostly rhetoric so far. My faith is being restored! Today President Obama signed extension of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS bill.

The legislation provides care, treatment and support services to nearly half a million people, most of whom are low-income.

Obama also announced that the Department of Health and Human services has finally crafted a new regulation spelling the  end to the HIV Travel and Immigration Ban. The regulation goes into effect in January.

The President and First Lady have also promised to get HIV tested themselves, which I find an incredibly brave and personal proclamation to make.

According to SHAFR.org the US has had some of the strictest laws regarding declaring HIV status:

“It compelled all non-citizens to attest that they were HIV-negative before being admitted to the United States for any reason – despite the obvious impossibility of enforcing this provision. At the same time, non-citizens living long-term in the United States were denied permanent resident categorization solely on basis of their HIV-positive status. While invoking its sovereign rights to control immigration and tourism, the U.S. government clung to policies suffused with the ignorance and bias toward HIV-positive people illustrated at the earliest stages of the AIDS pandemic.

“It disregarded the fact that for almost 25 years, it has been common medical knowledge that one cannot contract or transmit HIV casually. AIDS activists asserted that the HIV bar dissuaded immigrants unsure of their HIV status from getting tested; prompted HIV-positive immigrants not to seek to medical treatment until they had full-blown AIDS; and caused HIV-positive people seeking visas to lie on their applications and then enter the U.S. without their medications – situations posing exactly the threats to public health the 1987 ban aimed to prevent.”

2 comments to Obama signs HIV/AIDS bill extension; implements lifting of AIDS travel ban

  • HIV/AIDS is still a problem today despite huge medical advances, i am wondering if there would ever be a cure for this disease .

  • It is quite scary that there is still no cure for HIV/AIDS and the only way we can fight it is by prevention. How long would it take our scientists to develop a cure or vaccine for this disease?
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