Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Senate OKs repeal of HIV travel ban

The Senate today (Wednesday, July 16) approved the repeal of a discriminatory law barring HIV-positive visitors and immigrants. Passage came on 80-16 vote reauthorizing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

The bill now moves to conference committee before being sent to President Bush.

Senators John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) secured the provision to repeal the travel ban in the Senate’s legislation to reauthorize PEPFAR.

The travel ban originated in 1987 and was codified by Congress in 1993. While immigration law currently excludes foreigners with any “communicable disease of public health significance” from entering the United States, only HIV is explicitly named in the statute. For all other illnesses, the secretary of health and human services retains the ability, with the medical expertise of his department, to determine which illnesses truly pose a risk to public health.

— Cynthia Laird, July 16, 2008 @ 4:45 pm PST
Filed under: News

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