Gay Rights Group Call for End of HIV Travel Ban in US

Lambda Legal, a UK-based LGBT rights group, has called on the US government to lift the ban on people living with HIV from entering or residing in the United States.  This comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the US Department of Health and Human Services has proposed removing the viral disease from the list of communicable diseases of public health significance for immigrants coming to the North American country.

Scotts Schoettes of Lambda Legal said they had written to the CDC supporting their proposal, urging the organization to "move swiftly to finalize and implement the proposed regulations, thereby ending the discriminatory and disgraceful HIV travel and immigration ban and allowing the United States to more full assume the role as a leader in the global fight against HIV/ AIDS."

The ban originates from 1987, when fear brought about the AIDS pandemic led US official to require anyone with HIV to declare their status and apply for a special visa.  In July 2008, President George W. Bush signed the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Act, which lifted the ban on HIV positive people from entering the United States.  However, the ban remains in force while the Department for Health and Human Sciences decides how to implement the measure.

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