U.S. Ban on HIV-Positive Travelers Eliminated

This morning President Obama announced the end of travel restrictions that have long prevented HIV positive foreign nationals from entering the United States. Until today, the United States was one of 12 countries that banned HIV positive people from entering the country for any reason or length of time.

The travel ban has frequently prevented HIV positive activists and advocates from travel to the United Nations and other important US-based meetings.

The process to lift this restriction started under the Bush administration, and made progress this past June, when HIV was removed from the list of “communicable diseases of public health significance,” effectively removing the last hurdle to overturning the ban. The change will come into effect in the beginning of 2010. The bill is part of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act (link to PDF Statement of Administrative Policy issued by the Executive Office of the President).

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