Petition to end the US HIV Travel Ban

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Petition to end the US HIV Travel Ban

For over two decades the HIV ban on travel and immigration has been a blight on the United States. The ban has unfairly stigmatized and singled out people with HIV and treated them differently from foreign nationals with any other medical condition. The public health community has long believed that the ban is anachronistic and does not prevent the spread of HIV.

The U.S. remains one of only 13 nations in the world to ban HIV-positive travelers from entering the country.

The HIV ban, first enacted when homosexuality was grounds for barring entry to the U.S., is one of the ugliest remnants of discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS. While HIV is a serious health condition, it does not pose a significant threat through casual contact.

The HIV ban has prevented the USA from hosting any HIV/AIDS conferences and undermines the global standing of the country as a leader in the fight against the AIDS pandemic. The ban has violated the human rights of individuals seeking to freedom to travel as they wish, and it has needlessly kept apart families who are unable to navigate the difficult waiver process or who simply did not qualify.

In 2008, as a result of petitions calling for change, Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to remove the statutory HIV ban. In doing so, it sent a strong message that the United States can no longer countenance this discriminatory law. But even so, people are still being denied entry into the U.S. solely based on their HIV status. Now the policy is in the hands of President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Department of HHS has finally proposed lifting the ban and the proposal is now open for public comment.

We implore the Department of Health and Human Services to remove HIV from the list of “communicable diseases of public health significance” and urge for the issue the final regulation as soon as possible.

Help the Administration end this unjust, unnecessary policy by signing the petition today to end the HIV travel ban!

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