Refugee Resettlement Watch

Obama Administration to lift ban on immigrants/travelers with HIV/AIDS

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 31, 2009

President Obama, while signing legislation yesterday that extends taxpayer funding of medical care and treatment to people with HIV, announced the final steps to lifting a ban on those entering the US with HIV/AIDS.  Guess we will be taking care of more of the world’s HIV population right here.*   From the Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON – President Obama said yesterday that the United States will overturn a 22-year-old travel and immigration ban against people with HIV early next year.

The order will be finalized on Monday, Obama said, completing a process begun during the Bush administration. The United States has been among a dozen countries that bar entry to travelers with visas or anyone seeking a green card based on their HIV status.

This next section of the article is inaccurate because refugees with HIV have been allowed entry.  The reporter should have used the word ‘immigrants’ instead of ‘refugees.’

The law effectively has kept out thousands of students, tourists, and refugees and has complicated the adoption of children with HIV.

Those countries still banning people with HIV/AIDS are as follows.  I wonder at the accuracy of the list.   Do Iran and Syria, for example, let in people with the disease? 

The 11 other countries that ban HIV-positive travelers and immigrants are Armenia, Brunei, Iraq, Libya, Moldova, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Sudan, according to the advocacy group Immigration Equality.

I don’t have the time, but if you are interested you might want to visit Immigration Equality and see if you can find any mention of the list.

* The Bush Administration is credited with spending a lot of money in Africa to fight HIV/AIDS, but I just talked with a young man in my town who spent 2 years in Africa recently with the Peace Corps.  He said the Africans in his area of Africa refused the condoms because they believed they were contaminated with the AIDS virus and that it was a US plot to infect them.   Consequently, his Peace Corps compatriots who were assigned to work on HIV/AIDS had nothing to do.

2 Responses to “Obama Administration to lift ban on immigrants/travelers with HIV/AIDS”

  1. dar_al_harb said

    what’s a PC , ONAP , RPCV?

    Also, the Pres just re-authorized the Ryan White Cares Act. this Act is what was/is used to allow the entry of HIV Positive refugees since the last days of the Clinton era. A study of AIDS among Africans (both refugees and non-refugee immigrants) in Minnesota some years back showed incidence so high it was making the HIV rate for U.S. blacks as a whole much worse than it actually was. That is, the inclusion of the refugees in the study group of blacks pushed the infection rates to much higher levels than would be the case had they included just native-born blacks.

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  2. FD said

    The Aids program is PEPFAR. It was 15 billion and was tripled to 50 billion. The original program was for treatment. Now treatment remains the same, but there’s 10s of billions for things other than treatment. So, more people can get paid doing other things, like giving out condoms and doing talks about AIDs. PC demanded part of the PEPFAR pie and got it. It’s a tripled budget and the goal is for over 1000 PEPFAR PCs. Compare the 50 billion to what Obama spends on Americans with AIDs.

    Obama changed the VISA law, but he can’t unfire the PCs fired for getting AIDs. The Director at ONAP is an RPCV. Obama won’t change the law firing PCs who get AIDs.

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