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HIV Ban Officially Deemed A Dumb Idea

Since 1987, America has been one of a handful of countries (alongside Libya, Russia, Sudan) with a ban in place to keep "aliens" with communicable diseases, specifically HIV, out of the U.S. The last three consecutive administrations have attempted to lift the ban, and with a new bill now approved by..




Since 1987, America has been one of a handful of countries (alongside Libya, Russia, Sudan) with a ban in place to keep "aliens" with communicable diseases, specifically HIV, out of the U.S. The last three consecutive administrations have attempted to lift the ban, and with a new bill now approved by Congress, we may be nearing the finish line.

The proposal to repeal the denial of visas to foreigners with HIV will confront its final bureaucratic hurdle, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in the coming days, as part of a 48 million dollar Global AIDS Bill which already passed by an overwhelming majority. It's unclear, however, whether the Bush administration will give it the go-ahead it or leave the controversial move to the next president. The elimination of the ban-which Senator Kerry calls antiquated, citing that "even China" has decided to move beyond this fear- and ignorance-inspired type of profiling-provoked 35,000 protest letters from people who are still scared of AIDS rubbing off on them. In the meantime, even people with avian flu or the Ebola virus have an easier time applying for visas, and "health care professionals, researchers and other exceptionally talented people" have been blocked from entering the country for any reason.

It would be wonderfully progressive for this administration, and hopefully, any move to reduce the stigma attached to HIV will broaden an awareness of AIDS. We might even nod solemnly in approval at the Bush administration if this goes down, which is, you know, a scarcer occurrence than we'd prefer.

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