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Bush proposal for HIV-positive visitors makes a bad rule worse
Date:12/6/2007

g supply is not specified. Furthermore, by placing these extra burdens on those who disclose their HIV status, the proposed rule makes it less likely that visitors will do so.

I find it inexplicable that the United States can on the one hand exercise such strong leadership in HIV science and HIV care around the world, and on the other hand display such intolerance toward people with HIV who want to visit this country, said HIVMA Vice Chair Michael S. Saag, MD, director of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

In a sad irony, this policy may make it hardest for the people with HIV from the developing world, who are benefitting the most from U.S. leadership in combating global HIV/AIDS, to visit the United States. Documentation that might be needed to qualify for a waiver may be hard to come by. Treatment guidelines in the developing world are different from those in the United States, calling into question what standard would be used to determine whether visitors have adequate medications. And visitors from developing countries are less likely to be able to have the financial reserves required.

The proposed rule further discriminates against visitors with HIV by denying them the possibility of extending their visa or applying for residency. Furthermore, it does nothing to address a fundamental flaw in U.S. policy barring people with HIV from entering the United States.

The proposed rule adds barriers to the already burdensome and stigmatizing process for people living with HIV seeking to enter the United States, Dr. Bardeguez added. There is no public health rationale for excluding people with HIV from this country. Rather than making a bad rule worse, the administration ought to fix the problem and press Congress to repeal the ban on entry for people with HIV.


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Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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