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Author Topic: US hiv travel ban  (Read 8750 times)

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Offline englishgirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 387
  • ACT NOW TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE TRAVEL BAN
US hiv travel ban
« on: November 01, 2007, 06:23:59 PM »
for english residents who have not yet contacted their mp about this matter there is a standard letter which you can email from here:
http://campaigning.tht.org.uk/cms/cmsloader?WfJVLp&view=11,301,1385,0,-html

for US residents, please contact your congressman or whatever theyre called, and you might want to mention this at the same time: http://thebody.com/content/legal/art42839.html

for residents of other countries, i guess the same applies, contact whoever is appropriate

come on lets put some pressure on!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2007, 06:28:14 PM by englishgirl »
ACT NOW TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE TRAVEL BAN:
http://campaigning.tht.org.uk/cms/cmsloader?WfJVLp&view=11,301,1385,0,-html

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=17352.0


"I'm not keen on the idea of the afterlife - not without knowing who else will be there and what the entertainment will be. Personally I'd rather just take a rest." Oscar Berger, PWA: Looking AIDS in the Face, 1996. RIP.

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,350
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 08:27:11 PM »
thanks,luv!

Offline Iggy

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  • Posts: 2,435
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 04:08:08 PM »
I'm sorry that I have not been spearheading this as I wanted to.  One thing that needs to be clear - the law was enacted by Congress and only Congress can repeal it

First off, I just got off the phone with Congresswoman Barbara Lee's office as she is the one who has currently introduced legislation for the repeal of the Ban (see link below).  According to the Congresswoman's staff member the bill is currently in committee and what needs to happen is that the committee must approve the legislation for movement to the House Floor for a vote.

What is key here is that any lobbying efforts must be made not only to your local representative but to the members of the subcommittee of Immigration http://judiciary.house.gov/committeestructure.aspx?committee=4to who must approve it being moved to the Judiciary Committe  who then must be lobbied http://judiciary.house.gov/CommitteeMembership.aspx for it to move onto the House of Representatives floor for a general vote.

Once we start getting signs that the bill is moving to the floor for a vote we can continue the process with a widespread campaign to all Congressional Reps.  Please note that the the Bill is not even in the Senate for consideration, committee or vote, so that will be the next step.

What I am currently doing is drafting a letter to be used (which anyone else is welcome to use) and will post below. 

For those who are interested in more information, I have provided some relevant links below.

Congresswoman Lee's Page on the legislation:

http://lee.house.gov/index.cfm?ItemID=1076&ContentID=1081&ParentID=0&SectionID=4&SectionTree=4&SearchKey=HIV&sectionTypeID=4


The March 2007 report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies Task Force on HIV/AIDS calling for the end of the ban
http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/movingbeyondinadmissibility.pdf This report btw is providing a great impetus to moving towards a repeal and debunks many of the errors behind the original law.

The Global Health Council Information on the Ban (this contains a very interesting and topical study on how the ban causes real damages to U.S. visitors who are HIV+)
http://www.globalhealth.org/images/pdf/publications/travel_ban.pdf

ACTUP NY Page on the Ban (offers great narrative timeline of the ban, its effects and the fight against)
http://www.actupny.org/actions/Immigration.html
« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 04:26:13 PM by Iggy »

Offline Iggy

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  • Posts: 2,435
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 06:04:22 PM »
My first draft at the letter that will be sent to the Subcommittee members:


Dear ____:


“The original public health rationale on which this policy was built—in particular, fear of an imported epidemic that might swamp the U.S. health system—lacks credibility today…”


In the March, 2007 report, Moving Beyond the U.S. Government Policy of Inadmissibility of HIV-Infected Noncitizens, the mistakes, misperceptions and misguided assumptions behind the 1993 Immigration and Nationality Act in regards to banning any HIV positive visitor to the United States were exposed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies Task Force on HIV/AIDS. 

As an esteemed member of Congress, I am certain that you are aware that the Task Force, which is co chaired by former senator and majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Senator Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and composed of experts from Congress, the administration, public health groups, and the corporate sector has a primary goal of protecting U.S. interests including the health of its citizens as well as the U.S.’s ability to remain a leader in global health policy…and with that stated goal at the heart of their work, the Task Force has deemed conclusively that the time to repeal the restrictions against HIV positive non-U.S. citizens from entering the country is now.

As succinctly stated in the report, ”There is an emerging consensus that the current policy of excluding otherwise eligible HIV-infected visa applicants is counterproductive, rooted in discrimination, and damaging to U.S. HIV/AIDS credibility and leadership.”

Currently a bill introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law would repeal this legislation.  As a member of the Committee that the bill currently resides, I ask you to vote in favor of the bill and expedite its movement to the House Floor with a pledge to support its final approval.

It has been almost 15 years since the original passage of the law.

          - 15 years of being out of step with the Medical Community recommendations

          - 15 years of unduly stigmatizing and discriminating against people with HIV

          - 15 years of damaged credibility in the fight against HIV/AIDS

Isn’t it time for a positive change?

I hope you will assist in making this repeal a reality.

Sincerely,


It is a little clunky and needs some work, but wanted to offer it if it helps anyone else get their own letter going.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 06:40:15 PM by Iggy »

Offline DanKenny

  • Member
  • Posts: 147
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2007, 02:23:24 PM »
Iggy,

very good move.  I would suggest that in your draft letter, you point out examples of the stance of other developed countries -- such as Canada/Britain - re HIV Immigration.  I can provide some links regarding those policies if you agree / want to know more.

rgds, DK
My Progress:

09/07:   771   ~    <50     ~   29%
03/07:   493   ~    227      ~   22%
02/07:   Began Meds ~~ ATRIPLA
01/07:   315   ~   45, 000  ~   18%
10/06:   350   ~   32, 430  ~   22%
04/06:   440   ~   23, 997  ~   24%
07/05:   621   ~   36,000   ~   24%
01/05:   842   ~   2306      ~   28%
07/04:   615   ~   3370      ~   27%
04/04:   674   ~   739        ~   26%
11/03:   439   ~   2800      ~   22%
Infected probably around 1997 / Diagnosed 2002

Offline pozniceguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,181
  • Niceguy Dallas
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2007, 06:43:25 PM »
Great start  Iggy ... I will support any such activity and try to spread the word around to get as many of this type of letter to the committee as possible......I don't believe it hurts to also ( with very slight alterations) send a copy to each local representative ( congressional, or other government agency) to be sure to ask for their support of such a measure...maybe as an amendment to some bill already in process.

Good work and keep up the pressure.....I love it when political action takes hold for a worthwhile cause...if they can support a "museum" to woodstock surely they can support this...

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Iggy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,435
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2007, 10:46:15 AM »
Iggy,

very good move.  I would suggest that in your draft letter, you point out examples of the stance of other developed countries -- such as Canada/Britain - re HIV Immigration.  I can provide some links regarding those policies if you agree / want to know more.

rgds, DK

I did have a draft did go that route to a degree and then I remembered the audience: U.S. Congress, and if there is one audience that almost takes offense to just being asked to see what the rest of the world is doing - it is our esteemed representatives in Washington, D.C.....Freedom Fries anyone.

I think however that for perhaps a follow up campaign to the media that might be a worthwhile point in giving to reporters of questions to be probed.

Great start  Iggy ... I will support any such activity and try to spread the word around to get as many of this type of letter to the committee as possible......I don't believe it hurts to also ( with very slight alterations) send a copy to each local representative ( congressional, or other government agency) to be sure to ask for their support of such a measure...maybe as an amendment to some bill already in process.

Good work and keep up the pressure.....I love it when political action takes hold for a worthwhile cause...if they can support a "museum" to woodstock surely they can support this...

Nick

Nick - Thank you and by all means modify the letter and use as you wish.  I'm just heartened to see others commit to this.  I think you are correct that we need to bring this to the attention of our local reps as well, but I do want to be clear that they can only be helpful at this stage if they have any ability to influence the Immigration subcommittee to move this bill forward.

I don't want to suggest in anyway that we ignore anyone, but if we don't get this bill out of committee it is isn't even an issue that can be dealt with (legislator calendar-wise) by many in Congress.


Offline sacinsc

  • Member
  • Posts: 353
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2007, 12:20:20 PM »
I agree with everything you are saying. Congress should be the target. Just the Civics teacher in me...remember the US government can ONLY be sued if the Congress as a whole agrees to let that happen. All other lawsuits are denied.

I know that my Congressman in SC would support all of this 100% as I was his first page, and he is one of my references. The other freaks in SC would laugh at it. Senator Graham from SC (the closet case) would probably not support it since he is in trouble with the republican party and the other asshole from SC Demint, well he is in the religious rights back pocket breathing through a straw into their asshole.

Make sure when righting these letters to REALLY target those that would be borderline. Look at their voting records to see if they are moderate or ultra conservative. Some of this info can be obtained on the HRC website. I mean letters to all members of Congress are good, but right more personal plea letters to those that are in the floating field. Form letters get little response from them.

You can right them directly on the congressional websites to make them more personal and save yourself the postage. Then send them the form letter.

Just speaking from someone who teaches this stuff to 6-12 graders. If you have anymore questions about how Congress works, let me know :)

Matt
March 07 - Negative
May 07 - Exposed
June 07 - Seroconversion
September 07 - CD4 402 VL 118000 25%
October 07 -     CD4 294 VL 124000 22%
November 07 - Norvir, Triuvada and Reyataz
December 07 -  CD4 355 VL  550 .... guess the meds are working.
January 08 - CD4 446 VL <48 undetectable!
April 08 - CD4 554 VL <48 undetectable!
July 08 - CD4 666 VL <48 undetectable! Hporay...I have devil CD4's

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,350
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2007, 06:00:06 PM »
Thanks Iggy. I'm here, I'm clear.

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,350
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2007, 06:51:34 PM »
Iggy and Matt,

Thanks. I'll mail this week.

And, I think I'll personalize mine by stating...

In closing, as an HIV positive resident in your district I would be impressed as would the (insert number of presently HIV/AIDS infected in the district) other HIV/AIDS positive residents were you to support this bill.

In so doing, the favorable ripple effect that could ensue against worldwide stigmatization, which so incidiously restricts progress in the area of HIV prevention, might finally make a long overdue dent in the epidemic.

Edited to add: Here's a link to quickly locate your congresssional rep and get their mailing address. http://www.house.gov/writerep/
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 06:59:31 PM by emeraldize »

Offline sacinsc

  • Member
  • Posts: 353
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2007, 08:41:24 PM »
Good job Emerald! I am rooting and writing with ya :)
March 07 - Negative
May 07 - Exposed
June 07 - Seroconversion
September 07 - CD4 402 VL 118000 25%
October 07 -     CD4 294 VL 124000 22%
November 07 - Norvir, Triuvada and Reyataz
December 07 -  CD4 355 VL  550 .... guess the meds are working.
January 08 - CD4 446 VL <48 undetectable!
April 08 - CD4 554 VL <48 undetectable!
July 08 - CD4 666 VL <48 undetectable! Hporay...I have devil CD4's

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,350
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2007, 09:21:46 PM »
Thank you on both counts. So, can I get retro-credit for Civics work through which I likely slacked off while in school? Huh, huh? Can I? Can I?  :D


Edited to add: found link to get 2005-2006 state by state data regarding HIV/AIDS cases in case others wish to add relevant data to their letters. If anyone knows of a resource for even more current data, please post a link. http://www.statehealthfacts.org/
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 09:29:19 PM by emeraldize »

Offline sacinsc

  • Member
  • Posts: 353
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2007, 09:29:27 PM »
LOL - well maybe if you pass one of my tests :) What ya want executive, legislative, judicial... :)
March 07 - Negative
May 07 - Exposed
June 07 - Seroconversion
September 07 - CD4 402 VL 118000 25%
October 07 -     CD4 294 VL 124000 22%
November 07 - Norvir, Triuvada and Reyataz
December 07 -  CD4 355 VL  550 .... guess the meds are working.
January 08 - CD4 446 VL <48 undetectable!
April 08 - CD4 554 VL <48 undetectable!
July 08 - CD4 666 VL <48 undetectable! Hporay...I have devil CD4's

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,350
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2007, 09:36:41 PM »
Has the book been written " The Test Less Taken " ?

Offline sacinsc

  • Member
  • Posts: 353
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2007, 09:38:10 PM »
HAHA :) To me, never, love testing those little brats I teach! Keeps em quiet for an entire period! Its heaven!
March 07 - Negative
May 07 - Exposed
June 07 - Seroconversion
September 07 - CD4 402 VL 118000 25%
October 07 -     CD4 294 VL 124000 22%
November 07 - Norvir, Triuvada and Reyataz
December 07 -  CD4 355 VL  550 .... guess the meds are working.
January 08 - CD4 446 VL <48 undetectable!
April 08 - CD4 554 VL <48 undetectable!
July 08 - CD4 666 VL <48 undetectable! Hporay...I have devil CD4's

Offline Tim Horn

  • Member
  • Posts: 799
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2007, 12:13:30 PM »

Offline manchesteruk

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  • Posts: 630
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2007, 04:04:48 PM »
Letter has gone to my local MP.  I'll give it a week or so then try and get him on the phone!
Diagnosed 11/05

"Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

Offline englishgirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 387
  • ACT NOW TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE TRAVEL BAN
A CALL TO ACTION: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2007, 10:59:02 AM »
Following on from the good work of Iggy, Em & Tim, I’ve got a list of contacts for UK citizens and also for Canadians.

FOR UK CITIZENS:
Suggested minimum effort:
1.   Write to your MP
2.   Write to the PM
3.   Write to Lord Chris Smith
4.   Go on to the THT website and fill out their e-petitions


To find & contact your MP:

http://www.writetothem.com/
Includes Find your MP service that enables constituencies to be identified from postcodes

or
http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hcio.cfm
Includes Find your MP service that enables constituencies to be identified from postcodes
Lists of Members of Parliament, including e-mail and website links where available


To contact the PM:

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page3.asp


To find & contact a Lord:
List of Lords:
http://www.parliament.uk/directories/directories.cfm
How to contact a Lord:
http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/members/lords_contact.cfm

Contact details for Lord Chris Smith
http://biographies.parliament.uk/parliament/default.asp?id=25312


THT campaign to End US Entry Restrictions
http://campaigning.tht.org.uk/cms/cmsloader?WfJVLp&view=11,301,1385,0,-html

(and while you’re at it why not take part in their other campaigns too:)
http://campaigning.tht.org.uk/cms/cmsloader?WfJVLp&view=11,301,1042,0,-html


FOR CANADIANS:
Sorry I don’t know much about your govt, but it appears that you should be contacting your MP & Senator. This site appears to be a good start:
http://canada.gc.ca/directories/direct_e.html
Includes search for MP & MS by name & constituency

CONTENT OF THE LETTERS:
The main points you want to be including in your letter have already been outlined by the others above, but key points are that the proposed amendments go nowhere near far enough – poz people are still discriminated against. Barbara Lee’s bill should be supported as it is superior to the suggestions currently being considered.

Additionally, as Tim said, we should be asking for:
1.   The development of "HIV visa" application forms that differ from the I-601 "waiver of excludability" used to screen foreigners with other communicable diseases.
2.   The development of a centralized, U.S.-based office staffed by individuals who have undergone extensive HIV training to review all applications (thereby limiting the risk of prejudice and bias among untrained staff at U.S. consulates around the world).
3.   Eliminate the need for in-person interviews for HIV-positive people in all countries, regardless of whether or not the country is participating in the U.S. visa waiver program.
4.   Strict policies and procedures to safeguard confidential medical information.
5.   Strengthening of the "Specific Conditions of Admission, Control and Return" (Part IX.B of the proposed rule) language so that "controlled state of HIV infection" is not meant to apply to individuals who may have detectable viral loads or are not currently on antiretroviral therapy.
6.   The inclusion of people of positive HIV status in the current visa waiver programme (amendment of the legislation and the I-94W form to exclude HIV from the list of communicable diseases).

Anyone who doesn’t feel they have the time to prepare their own letter, PM me and I will send you over one to cut and paste.

Additional suggestion:
Why not ask your friends to send letters as well? Surely our friends both positive and negative could be adding their voices…
ACT NOW TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE TRAVEL BAN:
http://campaigning.tht.org.uk/cms/cmsloader?WfJVLp&view=11,301,1385,0,-html

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=17352.0


"I'm not keen on the idea of the afterlife - not without knowing who else will be there and what the entertainment will be. Personally I'd rather just take a rest." Oscar Berger, PWA: Looking AIDS in the Face, 1996. RIP.

Offline Robl

  • member
  • Posts: 1
Re: US hiv travel ban- from Sydney, Australia
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2007, 03:56:18 AM »
it's good to see this moving, i think. I thought the bill introduced was to lift the ban, so not sure about this 30 day waiver. We're trying to follow it from here, i emailed Senator Kennedy who is i think Chair of the Senate Committee, but no reply. thanks for draft letters, that might help here, we've got an election in 2 weeks, maybe we might get a bite.
Rob Lake
Sydney

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,350
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2007, 03:40:50 PM »
Robl, I just wanted to quickly reply to your post. You're e-mailing our Senator Kennedy from your home country of Australia. I hope every member of this forum does something, especially those in the US whose taxes pay for the privelege of watching such legislation develop. Thank you. I hope he replies. And, if he does, I hope you'll let us know. Em

Offline Tim Horn

  • Member
  • Posts: 799
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2007, 05:19:33 PM »

Offline pozniceguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,181
  • Niceguy Dallas
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2007, 05:47:08 PM »
Rob  you are correct ... there is also a movement to change the law  not just provide a special pass ( 30 days)   so there are two simultaneous issues...this 30 day issues is on tap right now the other one hasn't got out of committee yet ...but writing to the committee members supporting the repeal of the law is also a good thing to do...there have been several postings about the committee members and how to write to them

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Iggy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,435
Re: US hiv travel ban
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2007, 11:20:41 AM »
I'm admittedly a little saddened to see there has been limited response or pledges of members to write Congressional members about the ban. 

I would hope that all know that this is a simple thing that we can all do to take a stand against obvious discrimination against HIV positive people. 
It really only takes a few minutes to email those listed in the committee members listing.

I ask all to please lend their support.




 


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