Monday, July 07, 2008

End the HIV Travel Ban

I just sent a letter to my Senators, and I hope you will consider doing the same. My letter urges them to support the PEPFAR bill, which makes an international investment in fighting HIV, and also to support the Kerry-Smith amendment to the bill, which would lift the HIV travel ban. The United States is one of the few countries in the world that prohibits HIV-positive people from immigrating or even visiting here. Other countries with the same policy include the likes of Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Russia, and a handful of Arabian peninsula principalities. Even China and Iran are more enlightened in this regard. Nearly all of the important medical and scientific research conferences dealing with HIV are held outside of the United States, because of this ridiculous policy that would prevent relevant participants from even making a business trip to the US. This is a total embarrassment. Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) made the bipartisan case in a recent editorial in the Washington Times. You can find contact info for your senators here, and it just takes a couple of minutes to send them an email. This legislation is pending in the Senate now.

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