Monday marked a lift on the HIV travel and immigration ban, which removes HIV from the list of communicable diseases of public health significance for immigrants to the U.S.
President Obama announced Oct. 30 his administration would publish this new rule on the discriminatory ban, ending the 22-year ban.
Kevin Cathcart, executive director of Lamda Legal, told LamdaLegal.org it is past time the government ends the stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV in the U.S.
“We applaud the Obama Administration for its leadership in ending this kind of government-sponsored discrimination against people living with HIV,” he said. “The 22-year ban was discriminatory, violated basic human rights, and could not be justified on public health grounds. U.S. policy will finally reflect the broad consensus among the scientific, medical and public health communities that admission of individuals living with HIV into the U.S. as visitors or immigrants does not present a threat to the public health of this country nor pose any danger to its citizens.”
Cathcart also said he is hopeful the government will eliminate other discriminatory laws and policies soon.
Last year, Congress repealed the statutory language barring people with HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services then proposed rules this summer after a period of public comment approving the new rules that eliminate the ban.
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