Lifting of HIV travel ban may be imminent

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HIV travel banA memo released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services appears to finally signal the end of the HIV travel ban which prevents HIV-positive travelers and immigrants from visiting the United States. Enacted in 1993 under President Clinton, the ban was finally overturned last year but the Bush administration failed to implement the new rules before leaving office.

The CIS’s communication instructed employees working on green card applications that would be determined solely by the applicant’s HIV status to wait until the expected change in immigration rules.

Commentators have suggested that the pausing of green card applications which come down to the applicant’s HIV status is a strong indicator that the rule change will be implemented soon, and that HIV will be removed from the list of exclusionary communicable diseases.

Vishel Trivedi of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis said: “Once we’re confident that HHS will remove HIV from the list, we need to focus on more practical aspects of eliminating the vestiges of this discriminatory policy.”

We’re nine months in and this is only happening now? What took so damn long?

The memo is available at Immigration Equality.

Post by ILO on 09/23/09 at 2:24 pm