Monday, August 10, 2009

Lifting the Ban - The HIV Travel Ban, That Is!

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published proposed regulations that would eliminate the HIV travel and immigration ban. Once finalized, the regulations would remove HIV from the list of “communicable diseases of public health significance.” Once HIV is removed from this list, the two-decade old HIV ban would finally come to an end. HHS has called for a 45-day comment period on these proposed changes.

The national group, Immigration Equality, has assembled a broad-based coalition that has continued to push for full equality under U.S. immigration law for people living with HIV.

Please go to Immigration Equality's Take Action page to sign on to their comment applauding HHS for removing HIV from the list and calling for HHS to publish the final regulations as quickly as possible. Once the comment period closes, HHS will review the comments and issue final regulations, hopefully before the end of the year. Immigration Equality is very happy with the proposed change and has submitted comments in full support of the suggested regulations.

Federal champions on this issues include Senator John Kerry, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and former Senator Gordon Smith, who led the fight in Congress last year to remove the statutory HIV ban.