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Author Topic: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?  (Read 22844 times)

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Offline AsOne

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U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« on: February 09, 2009, 12:30:06 PM »
I'm Canadian. I know the old U.S. HIV travel ban began it's repeal process in mid- 2008 ( from Google search ) but reports in a Canadian gay newspaper ( Dec. 2008 Xtra Toronto edition ) report HIV Canadians are still being turned away at the border because the repeal process has not been completed yet.

So has the HIV travel ban repeal gone into full effect yet ( as of Feb. 2009 ) ?
If not, when ?

Offline keyite

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2009, 07:36:05 AM »
No, it is still in effect (although an interim 'streamlined' visa application process was announced a few months ago).

The law was repealed last year but it still requires for the DHHS Secretary of State to remove HIV from the list of inadmissible conditions. Daschle withdrew as nominee for this post so I guess we are waiting for a replacement to be announced and for him/her to effect the necessary changes:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090208/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/hhs_sebelius

Offline AsOne

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2009, 12:16:35 PM »
So it's still a"waiting game" then - okay ( too bad about Daschle - he was so right for that Cabinet posting ). Thanks.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2009, 06:34:11 PM »
Here's a little good news. Advocacy is still active on this important issue. I received this today. First, the message/sender of the e-mail, and, the letter to Obama follows with all of the signing organizations to date:

Hi all,

We are circulating an organizational sign on letter to keep the pressure on to finally lift the U.S. HIV ban on travel and immigration.

As many of you know, since 1987, non-citizens who are HIV-positive have been unable to visit or obtain permanent residence in the United States.  Last summer, Congress acted to remove the statutory HIV ban by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act as part of the Pepfar bill.  However, HIV remains on the Department of Health and Human Services’ list of “communicable diseases of public health significance.”  Until HHS acts to remove HIV from the list by issuing regulations, nothing has changed for non-citizens with HIV.

We are looking to get as many organizations to sign onto this letter as possible.  Please respond by the end of the day tomorrow.  We’d like to send the letter to the President on Thursday.

Best wishes,

Victoria Neilson
Legal Director
Immigration Equality
40 Exchange Place, 17th Flr.
New York, NY 10005
(212) 714-2904 x. 25
vneilson@immigrationequality.org
www.immigrationequality.org


February 11, 2009


The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Re:  Removal of HIV-related travel and immigration restrictions

Dear President Obama,
 
We write to urge you to order the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to publish a proposed rule to remove HIV from the HHS list of communicable diseases of public health significance as soon as possible. 

As a former co-sponsor of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (“PEPFAR”), we are sure you are aware that this landmark legislation included a provision which struck the statutory language that required HIV to be designated a communicable disease of public health significance.  In response to concerns about the potential increased costs to the U.S. health care system of removing HIV from the list, PEPFAR also raised future visa fees as an offset.  On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed PEPFAR into law completing the first step in a two step process to end the ban.

However, as long as HIV remains on the HHS list of “communicable diseases of public health significance,” non-citizens living with HIV are barred from visiting or immigrating to the U.S.  You have publicly stated your support for lifting the ban  and we ask you to take immediate action to do so and thus to end the stigma against people with HIV and treat it like all other routine, chronic diseases.

As HIV, public health, and immigration organizations, we call upon your Administration to carry out the will of Congress in lifting the ban.  The ban on travel and immigration for non-citizens with HIV is anachronistic, discriminatory and undermines public health.  As HHS recognized when it amended the definition of “communicable diseases” in October 2008, the American public needs protection from airborne, quarantinable diseases, not from viruses which cannot be casually transmitted such as HIV. 

We applaud your commitment to moving this regulatory action forward expeditiously.  The world is watching to see this ruling put into place. On August 3, 2008 at the International AIDS conference in Mexico City, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, UNAIDS executive director Peter Piot, and International AIDS Society president Pedro Cahn all welcomed the action taken by the United States government towards lifting restrictions on entry for people living with HIV.  It is time for HHS to take the final step and lift the ban.


Sincerely,

ACT UP Philadelphia
African Services Committee
Aid For AIDS International
AIDS Action Council
AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA)
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
The AIDS Institute
AIDS Legal Council of Chicago
AIDS Legal Referral Panel
AIDS Legal Services - Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
AIDS Project Los Angeles
AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition
Albany Damien Center, Inc.
American Civil Liberties Union
American Immigration Lawyers Association
American Immigration Management, Inc.
API Equality- LA
API HIV/AIDS Caucus of Los Angeles County
APICHA
Asia & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team
Asian Pacific Islander PRIDE Council
Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
BIENESTAR
Cambridge Health Alliance- Community Affairs
Casa de Esperanza
Catholic Charities AIDS Services, Albany, NY
The Center for HIV Law and Policy
The Center for Women Policy Studies
Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network (CHAIN)
CYRUS D. MEHTA & ASSOCIATES, P.L.L.C.
Drug Development Committee
East Bay Community Law Center
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center
Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research (FIAR)
Frey Law Office
Gay Men’s Health Crisis
Georgetown Law Human Rights Action
Global AIDS Alliance
Harlem Community Law Office
Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc.
Hastings College PHIVE-O (Peer HIV Education Organization)
Health GAP, NY
HIV/AIDS Services for African Americans in Alaska
HIV & AIDS Legal Services Alliance
HIV and Hepatitis.com
HIV Health and Human Services Planning Council of New York
HIV Law Project
HIV Medicine Association
HIVictorious
Homeless Health Care Los Angeles
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Immigration Equality
International AIDS Empowerment, El Paso, TX
International Women’s Health Coalition
Kentucky Equal Justice Center
LA Gay Center
Lambda Legal
Latino Commission on AIDS
Legal Aid Service of Collier County
Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc.
Maggio & Kattar
Marin AIDS Project
Minnesota AIDS Project
National Council of Jewish Women
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
National Women's Health Network
NCLR
Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, Inc
Owensboro AIDS Taskforce
Partnership Project
Program for Wellness Restoration
Projecte dels NOMS-Hispanosida
Raks Thai Foundation
The River Fund
San Diego Human Dignity Foundation
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Strength In Numbers, Asbury Park NJ Chapter
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Terrence Higgins Trust
Title II Community AIDS National Network
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society
University of Tulsa College of Law- Boesche Legal Clinic - Immigrant Rights Project
Vermont People with AIDS Coalition
Whitman-Walker Clinic
Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases (WORLD)
World Organization for Human Rights
Wren & Gateways Law Group, LLC






Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,258
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 04:42:19 AM »
It just dawned on me that POZ or some representative name of the organization would be powerful on this list of supporters. I'll ask Peter Staley if that is a possibility.

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 12:30:42 PM »
I just sent an email asking them to add AIDSmeds to the list.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 08:12:04 PM »
Thank you, Peter!

Offline allisonm

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 08:26:35 PM »
So it's still a"waiting game" then - okay ( too bad about Daschle - he was so right for that Cabinet posting ). Thanks.

from the nyt:

"Among the people mentioned as possible candidates for the job of health secretary are Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, a former state insurance commissioner; former Gov. John A. Kitzhaber of Oregon, a doctor; and Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan. All are Democrats."

the ban stinks but i'm sure it will be changed as soon as one of the above are appointed and confirmed

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2009, 09:22:56 PM »
If they really have to issue regulations we could still be in for a considerable wait.  Typically federal regulations involve a proposed regulation, a comment period and then a final regulation.

Perhaps the letter should ask for prompt issuance of proposed and temporary regulations repealing the ban.


Here's a brief summary of the process that applies to regulations.
"Under the APA, the agencies must publish all proposed new regulations in the Federal Register at least 30 days before they take effect, and they must provide a way for interested parties to comment, offer amendments, or to object to the regulation.

Some regulations require only publication and an opportunity for comments to become effective. Others require publication and one or more formal public hearings. The enabling legislations (sic) states which process is to be used in creating the regulations. Regulations requiring hearings can take several months to become final. "
http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/blfedregs_a.htm

5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline emeraldize

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2009, 11:31:21 PM »
Asurbanipal,

Why not contact Victoria with your suggestion? At this late date, she may not be able to change text because the signers would likely have to be notified, which would delay the sending. You should weigh in with your edit.

I agree with you, lifting the ban will not be a swift process, nor is it a slam dunk because there was a change in power. However, I believe it will happen...finally.

Em

Offline pozniceguy

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  • Niceguy Dallas
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2009, 05:41:49 PM »
Over the years  working within the Federal Government  I found that the surest way to "push" something was to get the "chairperson" of which ever committee that "overseas" or funds the organization  you want to kick in the pants.....to generate a rather simple inquiry  ..the essence of which is 

"""please inform me of your progress on repealing the ban on HIV visitors to this country by the start of the tourist season... I have targetted April 1, 2009  to have have this action completed and announced ...  signed  ..  Senator  .j...d ..,   "Chairman Committee that approves your budget"

anyone know which committee controls this operation????

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 DanKenny

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2009, 12:08:45 AM »
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 poz4afewyears

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2009, 11:53:49 AM »
Okay, maybe I am missing something.

How would the government of any country know that you are HIV+ unless they tested you? I mean, when you cross over the border from Mexico into the United States they aren't doing HIV tests on people.  ??? I am really confused.
I traveled to a country last year that supposedly has really strict laws on HIV+ people coming in. But I don't remember even being asked about it. Maybe they asked me and I didn't realise I was being asked. But I have traveled a lot in my life and I don't know of any airport or border crossing where they do HIV tests.

Offline Ann

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2009, 06:10:36 AM »
poz,

When a foreign national attempts to gain entry into the US, they have to fill out a form where one of the questions is something along the lines of "do you have a communicable disease". Of course one could lie and many do.

However, if your luggage happens to be searched and they find and recognise hiv meds, you'll be shown the door quicker than you could blink. It might not happen terribly often, but happen it does. One of our forum members from Canada was turned away at the US border when they found his hiv meds while he was going through customs.

It's usually the meds that give it away.

And also, if anything happens to you while you're in a country that disallows hiv positive visitors and you end up in hospital, you could be facing a lot of hassle and deportation, to say the least.

Many people can and do get away with visiting countries where there are hiv travel bans in place, but the stress of being found out often takes the shine of what should be an enjoyable time.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline poz4afewyears

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2009, 05:22:33 PM »
I usually put my medications in my checked baggage. But seriously, I can't think of a time where I was ever asked about it when traveling. I always thought that when they said "communicable disease" that they meant diseases that could be spread by the air or contact with infected surfaces. For example, at the place I work there is a pool for employees and it says that people who have communicable diseases are not allowed to enter. But I never thought they meant thngs like HIV.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2009, 09:16:26 PM »
I usually put my medications in my checked baggage.

Yeah, that's an excellent idea when airlines lose luggage.  Why in the world would you do this to any country with no HIV related travel issue?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline poz4afewyears

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2009, 09:22:42 PM »
I have never once lost my luggage or had it delayed. Not once.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2009, 12:07:55 AM »
That's generally a most excellent indicator of the future.  Bravo.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline poz4afewyears

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2009, 01:30:10 AM »
Okay, no need to be rude. It's just what I do. I didn't mean to say something to anger you.

Offline Ann

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2009, 06:30:42 AM »
Poz,

I don't get where you think you angered Philicia - he was just pointing out that sooner or later, the more you travel, the greater the chances of finding yourself in lost luggage hell. It happens all the time, particularly if you have to make connections at one or more airports. Smart people who must travel with any kind of medications take at least several days supply in their carry-on luggage - if not their whole supply.

As for the communicable disease issue, yes, what you say is true, but Uncle Sam isn't always terribly particular about semantics. Besides, hiv is listed in the small print under the question. At least it was the last time I traveled to the States in the company of a foreign national, and nothing I've ever seen since then leads me to believe they've made any major changes to that portion of the form.

A UK hiv publication put out an article a few years ago that discussed hiv and the travel ban, particularly the US travel ban. Much of the advice was based on the personal experience of their readership. They recommended that gay men do their best to not appear to be gay. Turns out that gay men who were at all flamboyant, or say, traveling with a partner who they openly treated as a partner, often had their luggage searched - ALL luggage, because that's what they do at CUSTOMS. When going through customs, you have your checked luggage with you, remember? Men who had obvious facial lipo also tended to be targeted.

It sucks.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2009, 12:23:43 PM »
poz4afewyears, I wasn't being rude and I'm not angry but whatever. 

I'll be more than happy to compare and contrast my age, the length of time I've been diagnosed and on treatment, the extent of my travel history with yours.  Trust me, you're making a grievous, foolhardy and entirely unnecessary mistake by placing your HIV meds in your checked luggage. 
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline AsOne

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2009, 09:33:45 AM »
I'm the Canadian who started this thread.
Here's an update I found at The Huffington Post - April 28, 2009
(copy /pasted) :

WASHINGTON — Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius won Senate confirmation Tuesday as the nation's health and human services secretary, thrusting her into the middle of a public health emergency with the swine flu sickening dozens of Americans.

The 65-31 confirmation vote came after Democrats urged quick action so that Sebelius could get to work leading the federal response to the flu outbreak.

"We find ourselves in the midst of a global crisis," said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. "What we've been missing in all of this is the head of the Health and Human Services Department."

Sixty votes in the 100-seat Senate were necessary for approval. Immediately after the vote Sebelius resigned as governor in Kansas and headed to Washington to be sworn in. She drove directly from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to the White House, where she took her oath in the Oval Office.

"We wanted to swear her in right away because we've got a significant public health challenge that requires her immediate attention," Obama said, standing beside the last Cabinet official to win Senate approval.

"We needs all hands on deck," he said. "I expect her to hit the ground running,"


She is confirmed in now -
 hope the travel ban repeal includes letting HIV+ immigrants in via due process as well. 
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 09:39:36 AM by AsOne »

Offline keyite

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2009, 05:51:11 PM »
From http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/06/60-turned-away-because-of-hiv.html

01 Jun 2009 10:45 am
60 Turned Away Because Of HIV

An AIDS conference scheduled for this week in Washington, DC, will not have 60 participants - Canadians who could not enter the US because they have HIV and didn't realize that they still had to jump through several hoops to get a temporary waiver:

As many as 60 Canadians had been turned away from the U.S. border in spite of "stated U.S. policy that foreigners living with HIV would no longer be barred from entering the country." However, even though Congress acted to repeal the law that keeps HIV+ visitors out, relevant U.S. Department of Health & Human Services regulations have not been revised, and HIV+ visitors are still not allowed to enter the country... "The 60 Canadians had planned to attend the North American Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit in Washington, D.C. from June 2 to June 5."

The situation echoes a recent incident in which a Cuban unsuccessfully sought to remain in the U.S. under a 1966 American law that provides for permanent U.S. residency for those who emigrate to American shores from Cuba. But in the case of Raul Hernandez, the long-standing law was superceded by the ban on HIV+ foreigners, even though Hernandez had been living in Arlington, Virginia, reported The Southern Voice in a May 20 article.


The Obama administration seems unable or unwilling to expedite this. People with HIV outside America need to know that there has been no change and the discrimination against the HIV-positive continues despite the law change and despite the change in administration. Travelers beware. They can and will detain you or turn you back.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2009, 11:42:55 AM »
Keep in mind that Sec. Sebelius was delayed in her confirmation due to Republicans questioning donations from the now-murdered Dr. Tiller, etc.

Within ONE WEEK of assuming her responsibilities she instructed HHS to begin the bureaucratic process:

source

Quote
April 14, 2009

Progress on the HIV Ban — Two Steps Forward
Filed under: HIV — Victoria Neilson @ 1:04 pm
Proposed Regulations Move from HHS to OMB
 
Last Friday (April 10), HHS forwarded regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. We won’t know the content of the regulations until HHS publishes them as a proposed rule, but this does look like a positive development.
 
The process is, HHS writes the proposed regulations, OMB signs off and sends them back to HHS, and then HHS publishes them in the Federal Register as a proposed rule and offers a period of public comment. The public then comments, the agency reviews the comments, and issues a final rule which then changes the law.
 
Go to:
http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eoReviewSearch
 
In the first box, click on Health and Human Services
 
Department of Health and Human Services
AGENCY: HHS-CDC RIN: 0920-AA26
TITLE: Medical Examination of Aliens: Removal of HIV Infection as a Communicable Disease of Public Health Significance
STAGE: Proposed Rule ECONOMICALLY SIGNIFICANT: No
** RECEIVED DATE: 04/10/2009 LEGAL DEADLINE: None

Meanwhile, you are welcome to take a vacation to Canada.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 12:05:28 PM by Miss Philicia »
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline keyite

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2009, 02:14:08 PM »
Within ONE WEEK of assuming her responsibilities she instructed HHS to begin the bureaucratic process

Better than nothing, but she wouldn't have had to begin the bureaucratic process all over again if Obama, on assuming office, hadn't uncritically swept aside a virtually identical rule from the previous administration that was already going through the mill.

Meanwhile, you are welcome to take a vacation to Canada.

That makes it alright then.. ::)

Offline azprince

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2009, 07:30:06 PM »
Since I am not that smart and always looking for clear answers,, how long do you think it will take to see the ban lifted, one year say?
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline jasonpoz12

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2009, 10:45:16 PM »
HIV travel ban in place till at least December; could the IAC finally come to U.S.?

Health and Human Services submitted a rule change on April 10 to the OMB that would lift the ban. That rule change should be available for public comment by the first week of July.

http://www.housingworks.org/news-press/detail/waiting-game/

Despite HIV-positive Canadian citizens being barred from traveling to a recent Washington, D.C. conference on AIDS and housing, the U.S. continues to drag its feet regarding the repeal of the travel and immigration ban on people living with HIV. Lifting the ban will probably take six to nine months, according to the timeline the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shared with AIDS advocates at a meeting last Friday.

After up to 60 HIV-positive Canadians were banned from attending the North American Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit IV, White House Office of National AIDS Policy Director Jeffrey Crowley and representatives from the OMB and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) met with Canadian and American advocates to brief them on the status of the travel ban.

Health and Human Services submitted a rule change on April 10 to the OMB that would lift the ban. That rule change should be available for public comment by the first week of July. After a 60-day comment period, the CDC can take as much time as it wants to respond to comments and draft a final rule. This process can take several months. Then the OMB will have 90 days to review the process. If CDC has a fast turnaround (which is unlikely), December would be the earliest that a new regulation would be in place.

The Obama administration has refused to issue an executive order lifting the ban, though OMB representatives said at last week’s meeting that they view lifting the ban as one of their top priorities.

“Even recognizing the statutory requirements for review and public comment periods, OMB sees [the process] moving quickly, whereas we see it moving too slowly,” said Joe Amon, Human Rights Watch’s director of Health and Human Rights Division, who attended the OMB meeting.

While the 1993 Congressional law banning HIV-positive travelers and immigrants from entering the U.S. was repealed last year, HHS has not discontinued a separate similar policy put into place in 1987, so the ban is effectively still in place. At the OMB meeting, advocates pushed for a waiver process that doesn’t require disclosure of one’s HIV-status until the travel ban is repealed. The OMB made clear to participants that they were currently focused on lifting the ban permanently, and didn’t view the temporary fix as a solution.

“This delay is completely unexcusable,” said Housing Works President and CEO Charles King, who attended the meeting. “If the Obama administration wanted to fast-track this, they could issue an executive order today.”

AIDSApalooza 2012 in Washington, D.C.?

In the mean time, immigrations and conferences involving foreigners living with HIV must be delayed or postponed. In the wake of the Canadian disaster, the International AIDS Society issued a press release announcing its hope of holding the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2012. In order to plan the conference, the IAS needs a commitment for the ban to be lifted by the end of 2009.

“AIDS 2012 will bring together an estimated 30,000 participants from around the world to address one of the most critical health and development challenges of our generation, highlight the latest results of HIV-related research and foster new streams of collaboration to this global effort,” said IAS President Dr Julio Montaner. “Twenty-five years after the discovery of HIV, the world is finally making progress on rolling back the terrible toll of the global AIDS pandemic. It is time for the U. S. to end the discriminatory ban on entry of foreigners living with HIV.”

On August 16, an action is planned at the Canadian border in Vancouver and Toronto denouncing the travel ban.

The U.S. is among only 14 countries in the world that still ban foreigners from visiting and migrating specifically on the basis of an HIV-positive status. The others are Brunei, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, Sudan, South Korea, Tunisia, Turks & Caicos Islands and the United Arab Emirates.

Categorized in: AIDS Issues Update
Posted by diana, June 11, 2009 at 12:20pm

Offline emeraldize

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2009, 07:10:57 AM »
Jason

Thanks for posting this. Comment in July will be important.

Em

Offline DanKenny

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  • Posts: 147
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2009, 04:56:34 PM »
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 emeraldize

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2009, 06:58:08 PM »

and another source...I got this at work today.

http://advocate.com/news_detail_ektid93814.asp

HIV Travel Ban To Be Lifted

By Kerry Eleveld

The first step to ending the HIV travel ban in the United States has been taken by the Obama administration. The Office of Management and Budget posted a notice on its site Friday afternoon indicating that the department of Health and Human Services could move forward with steps to change a regulation that has restricted HIV-positive people from gaining entrance into the United States.

The proposed change will likely have an impact on both travel and immigration to the United States. Under current regulations, non-U.S. citizens who are HIV-positive cannot travel to the United States unless they are granted a waiver by the Department of Homeland Security. Immigrants have also been required to be tested for HIV.   

The actual regulatory change, however, will not be available until next week and advocates are waiting to analyze the exact language.

“We won’t know all of the details until the HHS regulation is posted,” said Steve Ralls, communications director for Immigration Equality. “Congress’s intent was clear that this should be a clean lift of the ban -- our hope is that will be reflected in the HHS regulation.”

Congress passed the policy change last summer but the Bush administration was unable to implement the shift before leaving office. The actual change, however, will likely not go into effect until sometime later this year.

Once HHS publishes the new regulation in the federal registry next week, a 45-day window will be opened for public comment, after which HHS may make adjustments to the proposal and send it back to OMB for budgetary approval. After OMB green lights the final regulation, HHS will once again enter the change into the federal registry for another 30- or 60-day review period, at which point it will automatically go into effect. In theory, Congress could act to block the change during that time, but that seems highly unlikely in this case.

All of which pushes the change into mid-fall at the earliest.

“We’re hoping it will take effect by the end of the year!” said Ralls.

So turn the wheels of government.

Offline DanKenny

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  • Posts: 147
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2009, 11:31:55 AM »
I think the rule will be available in tomorrow’s Registrar:

see the following link: http://www.federalregister.gov/inspection.aspx

and then scroll down the page to the CDC entry ..the proposed rule is there in pdf.

I’m reading it now….

Highlights:

pg 10-11" "In this
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, HHS/CDC is proposing this action to remove HIV infection from the definition. While HIV infection is a serious health condition, it does not represent a communicable disease that is a significant threat for introduction, transmission, and spread to the United States population through casual contact. An arriving alien with HIV infection does not pose a public
health risk to the general population through casual contact. These changes reflect current scientific
knowledge and public health best practices. If the rulemaking is finalized, infection with HIV would no longer be a ground of inadmissibility .."

pg 14: "Under the proposed rule, testing for HIV infection would be eliminated from these medical
examinations .."
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 11:36:59 AM by DanKenny »
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 hudstar

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2009, 02:19:58 PM »
So has the HIV travel ban repeal gone into full effect yet ( as of Feb. 2009 ) ?
If not, when ?
[/quote]

I was going to put this in long term Poz section however I thought this section is  relevant to post this. I travel the world often and find most people caring and responsible. I also find most people cynical of their own countries politics and that this is a common thread between thinking people from any nation. Most people prefer to talk about their own experiences within the world and that is what links friendly nations together. I once liked the idea of America yet this has eroded greatly over time. 

Firstly I would like to say Bravo to Paul Thorn (UK civilian) for recently standing up to America’s outdated and offensive HIV ban. As stated in the article regarding this account “The Observer” Sunday 5 July 2009  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/05/hiv-visa-america-paul-thorn)   “now is the time America to repair its nation's standing”. I for one am in constant dread of American officials finding out my HIV status as I often transit the USA with my work. It is usually an overnighter – straight from the airport to motel then on to my ship bound out of the USA and its borders – I like it that way. Mostly my company will direct a transit flight outside the USA if I am can connect elsewhere without much work hours lost, other times I leave directly from the USA (Fort Lauderdale or New York). For me the better option is to lie on my form and to leave my pills at home. My doctors are not happy about this and informed me of a young Australian that was offered work in the USA and took a drug holiday to protect his status only to return home with an AIDS defining illness (this was in 2008!). This is not good for cultural relations. I stand with Paul Brighton for his brave stand against hypocrisy. I myself lie on the visa-waiver form as America has forced me to be dishonest. I’m forced to commit a felony that makes me liable for prosecution. I can also be honest and state my HIV status only to have my visa rejected because I am “considered an undesirable person, and unfit to enter the US” – greatly reducing my work potential and exposing me to every country I visit. Much like Thorn, I do not like to be listed next to terrorists or Nazis when I live my life with a sense of personal freedom. What irks me more is that a law not associated with my culture causes concerns to my family and friends when I am required to enter the USA. They should not feel that way when we live a free life. My social standing is also under threat when America forces a citizen from a reciprocal country to lie and act illegally by having to falsely answer questions not usually asked elsewhere. I lie because I do not want to be registered as a criminal on my passport. Where most countries have moved on from 1988, I am reminded of discrimination every time I make contact with America. aside from HIV bans, America continues to worsen as America’s Homeland Security is coming under fire from “friendly nations” due to the extreme harassment of their countries civilians at the hands of American airport security. I myself am constantly being escorted to rooms and yelled at for 1 hour with questions equating to terrorism and drug smuggling. This step up in border security has real potential to bring focus on people's HIV pills that we once smuggled in as vitamins. As a direct result due to homeland security and HIV legislation, I leave my pills at home - pills that have kept me well for 22 years living with HIV - pills that have kept me alive to see a niece, nephew and a great niece, pills that have given me the chance to expand on a career I once thought of as futile. Thankfully Canadian borders are not far for those of us making a sudden deter. Unfortunately for me I am in transit through the USA at the end of this month and do not look forward to this encounter with American officials. Against all logic and fair reasoning, I can honestly say - I do not like the current state of America.



diagnosed 1988
POZ personals - hudster

Offline hudstar

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  • 2010
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2009, 02:44:24 PM »
Reading through these posts may I add the amount of times the USA has talked about lifting this ban and .............  it never happened. I feel sorry for the USA as your new President seems to be seen as a fix all god to renegotiate past in-differences . Seriously, if changes were to be made wouldn't you think this HIV ban would have been number 1 on your new leaders agenda. Maybe gay marriage takes time in negotiating but HIV has been around for decades. I am not holding my breath for this one
diagnosed 1988
POZ personals - hudster

Offline hudstar

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  • 2010
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2009, 02:51:13 PM »
non-U.S. citizens who are HIV-positive cannot travel to the United States unless they are granted a waiver by the Department of Homeland Security. 


And 99% of these applications are refused resulting in an official ban. Look at the AIDS conferences that take place in the USA or the Gay Olympics. Not many applications get accepted
diagnosed 1988
POZ personals - hudster

Offline Luke

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #34 on: July 06, 2009, 04:03:49 PM »
As a regular visitor to the US – because of my job I am lucky enough to travel on diplomatic papers and not have to worry about what any ignoramus defines as a ‘communicable disease’ – I do think it is important to distinguish between government and country / people.

Whilst I understand the anger, I think it is important that it be directed at the institutions of government; not generally at the country (and therefore the people) which I have to say I find to be amongst the most friendly and welcoming anywhere on this planet of ours.

And now that change is happening, it is time to give credit where credit is due and thank those brave people who took up an unpopular cause, and fought for it, to bring us to where we are today: able to say that this particular unsavoury chapter will likely soon be closed for good.

Offline hudstar

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  • 2010
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #35 on: July 06, 2009, 05:28:32 PM »
I thought I did aim this at the US Government, officials/administration.... all of who dictate the American justice system that effect all people entering the USA.  I have many mates in the US and would probably enjoy spending time there with them. Under current laws and severe screening, if I do not have to go to the USA I wont. Do not jump the gun and think I am anti American - I remember pre HIV hysteria - my trek through the USA was full of warm welcoming people and I still enjoy spending time with them. I just see those times are now restricted. I also spend a lot of my working life with Americans and do not blame them for their countries political views. I find many people to be friendly (including Americans) and take every meeting on an individual basis.  I will give credit where credit is due and will give great praise if this ban is lifted.  I would also be thinking this took such a long time to come and woulld live with all the fanfare given to the USA if the ban is lifted. Civilians from other countries fought their own Governments long ago and avoided this ban right from the beginning. ... they need to be immortalised as saints. In the end it will be a great step forward for America. As you said, you are lucky to travel on diplomatic papers. I think travel is very important
diagnosed 1988
POZ personals - hudster

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2009, 04:47:44 PM »
Not yet repealed but likely by the end of this year.

A UK activist has spoken about his role in pushing the US government to overturn a law which bans people with HIV from visiting the country.

Paul Thorn, 38, an expert on HIV and TB, was stopped from speaking at the Pacific health summit in Seattle after admitting his HIV status on his visa entry form.

He was moved to write an impassioned letter which was read in his place, saying the policy was founded in fear and the US had no right to call itself a world leader in the fight against the disease.
He said: "In the past when I have been to the US I have always lied on the form, but this time I thought "no, I'm not going to do that".

"It's annoying that the US gives you two choices: to commit a crime by lying on the form; or tell the truth and be turned away as an undesirable."I didn't think I was either of those things. I decided to make a stand."
   
It means I can go to Disneyland if I want to. It sounds flippant, but when you think about it, why shouldn't people with HIV be able to do that? 

Mr Thorn's letter was picked up by Congressman Jim McDermott, who wrote to the Obama administration's health secretary, calling on them to push through the process of repealing the law.

The US Senate voted to overturn the rule, which has been in force since 1987, in July last year.
The provision lifting the ban was part of a bill granting some $50bn in funding for the fight against HIV/Aids throughout the world.

"What we wanted to do was get it moving in the right direction," Mr Thorne, 38, from Brighton, said.
"If the US wants to hold events like the Pacific health summit, and the International Aids Society wants to hold its conference in Washington DC in 2012, you need people from the HIV community there."

With the help of Congressman McDermott and Results - an international lobby group - the ban is set to disappear by the end of this year.

Mr Thorn said: "It means I can go to Disneyland if I want to. It sounds flippant, but when you think about it, why shouldn't people with HIV be able to do that?

"It does mean that people with HIV can visit family and friends in the US, and people who might not have told their employer about it can go there for work without worrying."

He added: "This is all about the US taking its rightful place as one of the leaders in dealing with the problem of HIV - welcome back."

LINKS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8136456.stm

http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/recent/2009/070609_e.html

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2009, 04:53:10 PM »
Gaining More Momentum:

Infectious Disease Experts Applaud Move to Overturn HIV Entry Ban
07/06/2009
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), and the Center for Global Health Policy say they strongly support the Obama administration’s move to lift the two-decades-old ban on travel and immigration to the U.S. by HIV-positive individuals.

“This rule is unnecessary and discriminatory,” said HIVMA chair-elect Michael Saag, MD, FIDSA, professor and chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “There is no scientific or public health rationale for excluding people with HIV infection from the U.S. HIV infection is a manageable condition not transmitted through casual contact. The travel ban actually serves to undermine public health by discouraging people from determining or disclosing their HIV status.”

Overturning the ban would simply put HIV-positive people on a level playing field with any other foreigner wanting to visit or immigrate to the U.S. The organizations say this long-overdue move would bring the U.S. in line with current science and international standards of public health practice and diminish the stigma and discrimination suffered by HIV-positive people.

Continued...

LINK:

http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/hotnews/hiv-entry-ban-overturned.html

Offline tash08

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  • Posts: 86
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2009, 10:49:52 PM »
You can help to repeal the ban by submitting your comments asking CDC to overturn their old policy on the following website:

http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=09000064809e8983

Let get this h.i.v travel ban repealed once and for all.

You may submit written comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2008-0001 to the following address: Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Attn: Part 34 NPRM Comments, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., MS E-03, Atlanta, Georgia 30333. You may also submit written comments electronically via the Internet at the following Address: http://regulations.gov, or via e-mail to Part34HIVcomments@cdc.gov. Comments will be available for public inspection from Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Eastern Time, at 1600 Clifton Road, NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30333. Please call ahead to 1-404-498-1600, and ask for a representative in the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine to schedule your visit. Comments will also be available for viewing at the following Internet address: http://www.cdc.gov//ncidod/dq. To download an electronic version of the NPRM, please go to the following Internet address: http://regulations.gov.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 11:11:43 PM by tash08 »
01/04/06-HIV-
03/09/06-HIV+
05/07-Atripla
04/01/10 CD4-681, VL-UD
07/10/10 CD4-450, VL-UD
10/10/10 CD4-473, VL-UD
01/21/11 cd4-522, VL-UD
05/02/11 CD4-638, VL-UD <20 copies Hell yeah!
08/3/12 CD4-806, VL-UD

Offline tokyodecadence

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  • A one room disco.
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #39 on: July 15, 2009, 05:00:11 AM »
You can help to repeal the ban by submitting your comments asking CDC to overturn their old policy on the following website:

http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=09000064809e8983

Let get this h.i.v travel ban repealed once and for all.

You may submit written comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2008-0001 to the following address: Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Attn: Part 34 NPRM Comments, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., MS E-03, Atlanta, Georgia 30333. You may also submit written comments electronically via the Internet at the following Address: http://regulations.gov, or via e-mail to Part34HIVcomments@cdc.gov. Comments will be available for public inspection from Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Eastern Time, at 1600 Clifton Road, NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30333. Please call ahead to 1-404-498-1600, and ask for a representative in the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine to schedule your visit. Comments will also be available for viewing at the following Internet address: http://www.cdc.gov//ncidod/dq. To download an electronic version of the NPRM, please go to the following Internet address: http://regulations.gov.




Thanks for the link! With school and work, it's difficult to keep up with anything that's not immediately google-able from my blackberry. :/
[.Fodão.]

Offline tash08

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2009, 10:23:33 PM »
Hi toykoDecadence,

I'm happy that you found my link useful, to all the rest of people on here let me know when you post your comments if you can. Together we can achieve great things in life.

01/04/06-HIV-
03/09/06-HIV+
05/07-Atripla
04/01/10 CD4-681, VL-UD
07/10/10 CD4-450, VL-UD
10/10/10 CD4-473, VL-UD
01/21/11 cd4-522, VL-UD
05/02/11 CD4-638, VL-UD <20 copies Hell yeah!
08/3/12 CD4-806, VL-UD

Offline emeraldize

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2009, 09:03:44 AM »
here's what the GMHC is presently intending to submit...

1
Docket No. CDC-2008-0001
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Attn: 42 CFR Part 34 NPRM Comments
1600 Clifton road, NE., MS E-03
Atlanta, Georgia 30333
July 23rd 2009
RE: Docket No. CDC-2008-0001

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. We provide prevention and care services to more than 15,000 men, women and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City, and advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide. GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected and has long advocated for the removal of the discriminatory United States’ HIV travel and immigration ban as a founding member of the Lift the Bar Coalition.

Dear Sir/Madam:
We at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) urge the prompt implementation of the proposed revision to 42 CFR Part 34, a regulation that will remove Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) from the definition of “communicable diseases of public health significance.” Finalization of this proposed rule in the Federal Register is urgent, as the current U.S. travel and immigration ban for persons infected with HIV does significant harm to the efforts of HIV prevention, both at home and abroad.

In 1986, during the height of the AIDS scare and prior to recent developments in medical and epidemiological principles, the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed to include acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) as a dangerous contagious disease. Concurrently, CDC/HHS also proposed to substitute HIV infection for AIDS. Since the current rule’s implementation in 1987, public health experts agree that the bar has stopped the spread of HIV, and ultimately perpetuates further HIV transmission. The current regulation, by barring the entry of HIV-positive non-citizens into the U.S. and/or disallowing these persons to become permanent legal residents, serves as a disincentive for immigrants to get tested, diagnosed, and into treatment.

Scientific and medical knowledge surrounding HIV transmission has evolved. While the CDC correctly acknowledges that HIV infection is a serious health condition, this proposed amended regulation also recognizes the advances in medicine and the study of HIV that show transmission is not spread casually. Additionally, experts in infectious disease and public health, including the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), affirm recommendations from the CDC that “HIV/AIDS should not be considered a condition that poses a threat to public health in relation to travel because, although infectious, the virus cannot be transmitted by the mere presence of a person with HIV in a country or by casual contact.” There is no evidence that entry restrictions have a significant effect on the prevention of HIV transmission. Again, in proposing the new rule the CDC rightly points out that, “the rationale for maintaining HIV infection as an excludable condition is no longer valid based on current medical knowledge and public health practice, scientific knowledge, and experience which has informed us on the characteristics of the virus, the modes of transmission of HIV and the effective interventions to prevent further spread of the virus.”

The United States’ HIV travel bar, and compulsory HIV testing for certain lawful permanent residence applicants, is an affront to human dignity, and violates the rights of equal protection, non-discrimination, privacy and freedom of movement—rights which the United States has long defended in the international arena. Currently, the U.S. is only one of twelve nations world-wide that has an HIV travel bar. Passage of this new regulation would finally remove the U.S. from this list and place us within the mainstream of appropriate international public health policy and practice.

People living with HIV/AIDS have the right to full enjoyment of their human rights, including the right to privacy, confidentiality and protection from stigma and discrimination. HIV-related travel restrictions infringe upon these and other human rights in multiple ways. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) currently conducts the largest mandatory HIV-testing program in the world. Every applicant for permanent residence over the age of 15 undergoes HIV testing, and largely without informed consent. In many instances these mandatory tests are done without appropriate pre- and post-test counseling or safeguards of confidentiality. Any HIV testing should be done voluntarily and on the basis of informed consent.

The personal impact of HIV-related travel restrictions can be devastating for the individual seeking to immigrate, to gain asylum, to visit family, to attend meetings, to study, or to do business. The person affected may simultaneously learn that s/he is infected with HIV, that s/he may not be allowed to travel, and possibly that his/her status has become known to government officials, or to family, community, and employers. This could possibly expose the individual to serious discrimination and stigmatization because of their health status. These HIV travel restrictions have a profound impact upon the discrimination experienced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people as well. HIV-related discrimination and stigma deters people (nationals and non-nationals alike) from getting tested for HIV and utilizing HIV prevention and care services.

The myth of the HIV-infected immigrant stymies HIV prevention efforts. Studies based on the experiences of HIV positive people traveling to the U.S. have shown that the current policy is not effective in the effort to keep HIV positive immigrants out. These studies also conclude that many immigrants become infected with HIV after entering the U.S. and not in their home countries. The CDC has also acknowledged this trend by noting that most immigrants to the U.S. have a better health status than their U.S. counterparts, another signal that the current regulation is outdated and ineffective.


These restrictive policies are counterproductive to public health safety by pushing the issue underground, as many choose to lie about their status rather than risk being turned away. The fear of getting caught at the border with HIV medication in their luggage may actually lead people with HIV to discontinue use of their medication while traveling. Such interruptions of treatment increase the chances of developing new or further viral mutations, which can lead to drug resistant strains of HIV that run risks of possible treatment failure.

Data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for the period 2001-2006 show that foreign born New Yorkers are less likely that U.S. born New Yorkers to be tested for HIV (29% vs. 32%). Additionally, foreign born New Yorkers are almost 50% more likely than U.S. born New Yorkers to be dually diagnosed with HIV and AIDS (32% vs. 24%). These data indicate that foreign born New Yorkers get diagnosed later than U.S. born New Yorkers. These striking disparities are at least in part due to the U.S. HIV entry ban.

Current policy mandates HIV testing for certain people attempting to obtain legal permanent residence. This is in direct opposition to the UN International Guidelines for HIV/AIDS and Human Rights. Further, these tests are often carried out with complete disregard for the immigrants’ health. There are often no referral services to care and treatment. Potential immigrants are left with the news that they have HIV and no support system to help. Beyond the lack of health support, these mandatory testing programs miss out on the very real opportunity for HIV prevention education. Very little is done to ensure that those tested are provided with the necessary tools and support to not transmit this virus to others.

The adoption of the proposed rule to take HIV out of the definition of “communicable diseases of public health significance” and also remove HIV from the scope of immigrant medical examinations is a much needed change in U.S. public health policy and immigration law. The new rule will put the U.S. within the arena of current international medical and epidemiologic practices and beliefs and significantly improve HIV prevention efforts and HIV care outcomes in the United States. For the above reasons GMHC strongly urges the implementation of the CDC’s proposed rule to lift the HIV travel and immigration bar.

Marjorie J. Hill, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Gay Men’s Health Crisis

Offline emeraldize

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Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2009, 06:50:07 AM »
I received an e-mail from Immigration Equality stating this is the letter they submitted. Please note that 316 organizations signed this document.


Docket ID: CDC-2008-0001 Docket Title: Medical Examination of Aliens – Removal of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection from Definition of Communicable Disease of Public Health Significance RIN: 0920-AA26
We support the proposed rule that would that would lift the immigration ban on visitors and immigrants living with HIV, stop unfair mandatory HIV testing of immigrants and remove references to HIV from the scope of examinations in its regulations. This change will restore the U.S. as a leader in the areas of human rights, equal treatment under the law and public health.
The 316 undersigned organizations, representing civil rights, clinical, immigration, HIV advocacy, public health and other constituencies respectfully submit these comments on the proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to revise the Part 34 regulation to remove “Human Immunodeficiency Virus” (HIV) infection from the definition of “communicable diseases of public health significance” and to remove references to “HIV” from the scope of examinations in its regulations. The rationale for our support is as follows:
1. There is no scientific or public health justification for HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay, and residence.
According to the U.S. government’s own agencies, HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids, is not airborne and is not transmitted through casual contact.
Public health officials within the United States have acknowledged that there is no public health justification for excluding people with HIV. When commenting on its own HIV-specific restrictions in 1991, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated: “The risk of (or protection from) HIV infection comes not from the nationality of the infected person, but from the specific behaviors that are practiced. Again, a careful consideration of epidemiological principles and current medical knowledge leads us to believe that allowing HIV-infected aliens into this country will not impose a significant additional risk of HIV infection to the U.S. population, where prevalence of HIV is already widespread.”1
From a public health perspective, encouraging people living with HIV to take antiretroviral drugs minimizes the likelihood of developing drug resistance by not skipping doses. In surveys done over the past decade, it appears HIV-specific entry and immigration restrictions have pressured some people to conceal their HIV status from U.S. immigration authorities by not bringing HIV medicines with them on international trips. Repealing this ban will allow HIV-positive travelers to continue their medication uninterrupted.
1 Public Health Service (1991), “Medical Examination of Aliens.” 56 Fed. Reg 2,484 (codified at 42 CFR 34).
2. Restrictions on entry, stay and residence based on HIV status are discriminatory.
Since there is no evidence that a travel ban based on HIV status is an effective public health strategy, the differential treatment based on HIV status is discriminatory and not justified. The current policy promotes discrimination against HIV-infected immigrants and causes many immigrants to avoid HIV testing or treatment for fear of deportation and stigma.
This regrettable policy contradicts the historical leadership position of the United States in science, research and development, public health and in the global fight against AIDS. The current policy prevents or hinders people living with HIV, ironically including those who have benefited from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), from entering the United States and participating in critical meetings that shape global HIV policy and research. Because of this policy, important public health meetings and HIV conferences such as those hosted by the International AIDS Society have not been held in the United States since 1990. 3. The enforcement of HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay and residence can, and does, violate other human rights.
The implementation of HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay, and residence can also interfere with the rights to life, privacy, liberty, work and as CDC mentions even within their own justification for this rule, the right to protect the unity of the family. 4. HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay and residence can impede effective responses to HIV.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, it has been repeatedly recognized that it is essential to protect the rights and dignity of people living with HIV and to involve them in the response to HIV not only because it is right but because it leads to the most effective responses to HIV. This has been confirmed by governments in the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS (2001)2 and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS (2006).3 The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) established an international task team on HIV-related travel restrictions and found that HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay and residence might be harmful to the public health of both citizens and travelers because they:
• Misdirect resources into intimidating screening and enforcement activities versus using these resources to expand voluntary HIV counseling and testing, prevention, treatment and care; • Drive HIV prevention and care issues, as well as those living with HIV, underground, with negative outcomes for both individual and public health.
2 UN Document A/RES/S-26/2 available on-line at http://www.un.org/ga/aids/docs/aress262.pdf
3 See para.20, UN Document A/RES/S-26/2. Available on-line at http://data.unaids.org/pub/Report/2006/20060615_HLM_PoliticalDeclaration_ARES60262_en.pdf
5. The costs to the United States taxpayer would not be as high as suggested in the proposed rule.
While we fully support the proposed rule, we also have concerns about the presentation of the cost estimate model. First, this estimate does not explicitly differentiate costs between public and private payers. Significant proportions of these estimated costs would be paid for by other payers outside of the U.S. government such as private insurance and contributions by the individual or by his or her sponsor or family. Most immigrants are not eligible to receive means-tested public benefits for five years after their entry into the U.S. All immigrants to the United States must document that they will not be a public charge.
Second, the CDC acknowledges that people with HIV may consume fewer health care resources than immigrants with other conditions. The costs of treating immigrants with other significant health concerns, e.g., heart disease, renal disease, diabetes, are not considered in determining immigration policy for individuals with these conditions and should not be a factor in setting immigration policy for people with HIV.
Finally, we explicitly support the approach to remove HIV testing from the routine medical examination of lawful permanent resident applicants. Mandatory testing for HIV infection should no longer be required as described in the proposed rule. People living with HIV should be allowed to enter the U.S. or adjust to permanent resident status if they meet all other conditions of admissibility. There are clear and important benefits to be accrued from HIV testing. Such testing, however, should not be mandated as part of the routine medical examination for entry into the United States.
For these reasons, we fully support the removal of HIV from the definition of “communicable diseases of public health significance” as well as to remove references to “HIV” from the scope of examinations in its regulations.
Signatories:
• Aarogya.com
• Accion Solidaria
• ACLU
• ACT UP Philadelphia
• Action against AIDS Germany
• Actions Traitements
• ADAP Advocacy Association
• Advocates for Youth
• AECOM/DOSA
• African Children And Familly Support
• African HIV Policy Network United Kingdom
• AIDA Family Services
• AIDES France
• AIDS Action Baltimore
• AIDS Action Council
• AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
• AIDS Action Europe
• AIDS Alliance
• AIDS Alliance for Children Youth & Family
• AIDS Alliance for Faith and Health, Inc.
• AIDS Calgary
• AIDS Care Ocean State
• AIDS Co
• The AIDS Coalition of Cape Breton
• AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area
• AIDS Committee of Cambridge Kitchener Waterloo and Area
• AIDS Committee of Windsor
• AIDS Foundation of Chicago
• AIDS Help
• AIDS-Hilfe Ahlen e.V.
• Aids-Hilfe Neumünster e.V.
• Aids-Hilfe Saar e.V.
• The AIDS Institute
• AIDS Legal Council of Chicago ALCC
• AIDS Network
• AIDSmeds
• AIDS & Mobility Europe
• AIDS Project Los Angeles
• AIDS Saint John
• AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland
• AIDS Thunder Bay
• AIDS Treatment News
• AIDS Vancouver
• AGIHAS (PLWHA Support group) Latvia
• Aksion plus Albania
• aldo castillo-de leon
• All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS
• Alma
• Ambassadors of Change
• American Social Health Association
• American Gay
• AMIGOS
• AMREF
• Apoyo Positivo
• Article 42 of the Constitution
• Asher/Scott Partners
• ASISTA Immigration Assistance
• Association AIDES
• Association against AIDS - JAZAS Serbia
• Association DIAGONALE IDF
• Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
• Association "Pozityvus gyvenimas"
• Association de Lutte Contre le Sida Marocco
• AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention
• BCCDC
• Belarusian AIDS Network Belarus
• Body & Soul
• Boulder County AIDS Project
• Breakthrough
• Bruce House
• CAEAR Foundation
• CALCSICOVA
• Cambodian People Living with HIV/AIDS Network (CPN+)
• Cameroon Coalition Against Malaria
• Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE)
• Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
• Capital Region USA
• Caribbean HIV/AIDS Youth Network
• Cascade AIDS Project
• Center for Health Policy and Innovation
• Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition
• Charity foundation Kolodets
• Chicago Recovery Alliance
• Christian Comission for Development in Bangladesh
• Cobb Immigrant Alliance
• Communities Delegation
• Community Access National Network
• Community Aid Uganda
• Companion NGO
• Consultant, International Health
• Courage Campaign
• Courtesy Associates
• Cyrus D. Mehta LLP
• Czech AIDS Help Society Czech Republic
• David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
• DC Fights Back
• DefendingDissent Foundation
• Delaware HIV Consortium
• Derechohabientes Viviendo con VIH del IMSS (DVVIMSS)
• Destination DC
• Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe e.V.
• DLE Investments
• Doors
• Doorway
• Dutch AIDS Foundation
• Dutch HIV Association
• EAC Inc
• East European & Central Asian Union of PLWH
• ELWA Hospital, Liberia West Africa
• EMO HIV Services
• Empire Justice Center
• EMPOWER
• Equality Illinois
• Estonian Network of People Living with HIV Estonia
• EU HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum
• Eurasian Harm Reduction Netork
• European Aids Treatement Group (EATG)
• Fahamu
• Family Equality Council
• Finnish AIDS Council Finland
• Fixpunkt e.V.
• Frannie Peabody Center
• Frey Law Office
• Fundacion Salud y Comunidad
• Gama Adisa Quilombo
• GAT -Portugal
• Gardner Family Care Corp
• Gay Activist Alliance Africa
• GAYLIB
• Gay Men's Health Crisis
• Global Network of People Living with HIV
• GNP+NA
• Good Health Educators Initiative, Lagos, Nigeria
• Grant Management Solutions
• Greenwich House, Inc.
• Gregory House Programs
• Groupe sida Geneve
• Grupo Portuges de Activistas sobre Tratamentos de VIH/SIDA
• GSACS
• Harm Reduction Coalition
• Health and Social Development Bulgaria
• Health GAP (Global Access Project)
• Healthy Options Project Skopje Macedonia
• HIV & AIDS Legal Services Alliance
• HIV/AIDS Regional Services
• HIV-Danmark
• HIV Europe
• HIV-foundation Finland
• HIV Law Project
• HIV MANIFESTO group Norway
• HIV Medicine Association
• HIV-Sweden
• HOPE-Cape Town
• Housing Works
• Human Rights Watch
• Hyacinth AIDS Foundation
• IAVI European Network
• ICO "ECUO"
• ICRW
• ICW - International Community of Women
• ILASAP/GCAP/IRMA
• Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
• Immigration Equality
• ImpAcTAIDS
• The indegeous community of women living with HIV
• Infectious Diseases Society
• INPUD
• Interior Health Authority
• International AIDS Society
• International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
• International Nursing Harm Reduction Network
• International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network
• International Planned Parenthood Federation - Western Hemisphere Region
• International Partnership for Microbicides
• International Women's Health Coalition
• Ishtar MSM
• Islamabad Christians Against Narcotics
• Jamaican Network of Sero-Positives
• John Mordaunt Trust
• Kazan Sar
• KHANA
• LE KIOSQUE
• LABO IST COTONOU
• L'A.R.C.H.E de l,Estrie
• La Raza Unida of the Bay Area
• Leadership Training Institute
• Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County
• LILA Italy
• Living Hope Support Group
• Living Room, Inc.
• Los Portales Pharmacy
• Makerere University
• Marin AIDS Project
• Medical Foundation for AIDS & Sexual Health
• Medecins Du Monde
• Metropolitan Community Churches
• Michigan HIV/AIDS Council
• Microbicide Trials Network
• The Ministry of Caring, Inc.
• Minnesota AIDS Project
• MIRA Coalition
• Montenegrin Association Against AIDS Montenegro
• Multnomah county POZ
• Nashville CARES
• Nassau/Suffolk Care Network member
• NASTAD
• National AIDS Fund
• National AIDS Trust United Kingdom
• National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors
• National Association of People with AIDS
• National Center for Lesbian Rights
• National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
• National Immigrant Justice Center
• National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
• National Immigrant Solidarity Network
• National Immigration Forum
• National Health and Education Committee (Burma)
• National Lawyers Guild
• National Women's Health Network
• NEPHAK
• New York Immigration Coalition
• NGO Fhoenix PLUS-Russia
• NGO Leqal Development and Democracy
• NGO Maria
• NGO Support to PLWHIV "Discordant"
• NordPol
• Northern Colorado AIDS Project
• North Shore University Hospital Center for AIDS Research & Treatment
• Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
• ODYSEUS Slovakia
• Oxford
• Partners in Health
• Partnership Project
• Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative
• Peel HIV/AIDS Network
• Perez
• PF "Answer"
• PILSM
• Population Council
• Positive Resource Center
• Positive Women's Network
• Pozfem
• Project Inform
• Projecte dels NOMS - Hispanosida Spain
• Projekt Information
• Queers Against Prisons- Philadelphia
• Raks Thai Foundation
• RAVANE+
• Rectal Microbicide Advocates
• RED HISPANA FLORIDA
• RFHL
• Regional public organisation "Community of People Living with HIV" - Secretariat of the Russian Union of PLHIV
• Release
• Research Unit in Behaviour & Social Issues Cyprus
• RMCHCS
• Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
• Romanian Angel Apeal Foundation Romania
• Rosenbaum Immigration Appeals
• Russian Harm Reduction Network
• SAGA ministry
• Sangha Metta
• Sensoa Belgium
• SERES
• Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Networt
• Sexologist
• Sexual Health Clinic
• SisterLove, Inc.
• Sisters of Color United For Education
• SKUC-Magnus Slovenia
• Snehalaya Charitable Trust
• Social AIDS Committee Poland
• Society Association HIV-Latvia
• Soros Foundation Moldova Moldova
• South Asian Americans Leading Together
• STI AIDS Netherlands
• St. John's Cathedral HIV Education Centre
• Stony Brook University
• STOP AIDS - Gay Men's HIV Organisation Denmark
• Swaziland Positive Living
• Swiss AIDS Federation (Aids-Hilfe Schweiz) Switzerland
• TAMPEP International Foundation
• Tcell
• Terrence Higgins Trust
• The American Academy of HIV Medicine
• The Forum Link Project
• The International Community of Women
• The Legal Aid Society (NYC)
• The Translational Science Corp
• Tobago Oasis Foundation
• Treatment for Action Campaign
• Treatment Action Group
• TRT-5-France
• UCLA Clincal AIDS Research and Education Center
• UK Community Advisory Board
• UNALS
• Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
• United Methodist Church, GBCS
• United Way
• United Way Of Long Island
• University of California, Irvine
• University of Miami
• Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS)
• U.S. Positive Women's Network
• Village Care of New York
• Vivir en Positivo
• VYH en Contexto
• Waverley Care
• Werck & Werck
• WNY AIDS Network
• Women and Law-Swaziland
• Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Disease (WORLD)
• Woodhull Freedom Foundation
• World AIDS Campaign
• World Learning
• World Organization for Human Rights
• World Vision India

Offline Miss Philicia

  • Member
  • Posts: 23,558
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2009, 12:05:01 PM »
source

Change Coming to HIV Immigration Ban
Customs and Immigration Services memo indicates that the HIV travel and immigration ban may be ending soon.

By Kerry Eleveld

The U.S. Customs and Immigrations Service (CIS) has issued a memo directing its officers to hold any decisions on green card applications that are based solely on HIV status, pending a rule change to eliminate the HIV restriction that Health and Human (HHS) Services is scheduled to issue later this year.

Under current regulations, non-U.S. citizens who are HIV-positive cannot travel to the U.S. unless they are granted a waiver and immigrants are denied entry into the U.S. if they are HIV-positive. The CIS memo’s intent is to halt any green card denials that are based on HIV status in anticipation that the policy change proposed earlier this year by HHS will soon be ushered through to completion.

“It’s very good news for people who have a pending green card applications,” said Steve Ralls, communications director at Immigration Equality, a group that advocates to equalize immigration policy for LGBT people. “It’s a strong indication that U.S. CIS expects this to move forward soon and it’s a very good indicator that the administration is moving forward on repeal.”

Congress originally passed the policy reversal last summer but the Bush administration was unable to implement the shift before leaving office. HHS put the wheels of change in motion in late June by publishing the proposed regulation, and the 45-day public comment period on the proposal has already expired.

“HHS is reviewing those comments and the Administration has said that they expect the entire repeal process to be completed by the end of the calendar year,” Ralls said. “This memo indicates that they’re approaching the finish line in that process.”
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2009, 02:47:30 PM »
Thanks for posting this great news.

Offline wellington

  • Member
  • Posts: 507
  • Don't sweat the little things.
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2009, 03:03:12 AM »
If you cross the broder (between Canada and the US) with any regularity, you might want to look into the Nexus program. It costs $50 for 5 years and greatly streamlines the border-crossing process, whether you cross by air, land, or sea.

Offline exbf

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2009, 02:11:43 PM »
Yay!Thank you for posting this!  :D   :-*

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2009, 11:12:52 AM »

FANTASTIC NEWS



http://www.housingworks.org/blogs/detail/immigration-ban-one-step-closer
-to-being-lifted/

AIDS Issues Update

Good news! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the
regulation to lift the HIV travel and immigration ban. Now the
regulation just needs to be approved by the White House Office of
Management and Budget (OMB). If and when OMB approves the change, this
will be the final regulatory step in a more-than decade long nightmare
of discrimination against HIV-positive people. The CDC officially
approved the change on Thursday, October 22, and OMB has 60 days to make
the regulation final.

"It's an important step forward," said AMFAR Public Policy Deputy
Director Jirair Ratevosian, who alerted the Update of the change, which
hasn't yet been publicized by the CDC.

The reason the CDC's decision took as long as it did is because it
received 20,000 comments, since the end of the comment period in August,
and by law it has to read every comment. Most of the comments were in
support of the policy change.

The OMB gets involved in this process because of the proposed cost. CDC
suggest the cost will be $83 million over the 2010-2018 period,
primarily for Medicaid, though advocates say they believe that number is
on the high end, and even CDC says the cost could vary widely.

In the early 1990s, the CDC solicited comments, but when the ban looked
like it might be lifted, Sen. Jesse Helms championed a 1993 law
preventing HIV-positive people from entering the U.S. The 1993 law was
repealed in July 2008 by Congress and President Bush as part of the
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The ban became continued to be an embarrassment, however. A group of up
to 60 HIV-positive Canadian citizens was denied entry to the United
States to attend the North American Housing and HIV/AIDS Research
Summit, resulting in Andrew Sullivan airing the issue on Anderson Cooper
360. This was followed by the International AIDS Society condemning the
ban and stating its hope that the ban would be lifted in order to hold
the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.

On September 15, 2009, at the urging of Immigration Equality and the
American Immigration Lawyers Association, the United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a memo telling its staff not to
deny any green card applications if the only reason for the denial is
the applicant's HIV status.

The CDC could not yet be reached for comment.

Diana Scholl
Housing Works Staff Writer
cell: 917-402-2576
d.scholl@housingworks.org



Offline pozniceguy

  • Member
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  • Niceguy Dallas
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2009, 12:17:03 PM »
good news , the wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly but steadily along.....as long as some "official" doesn't insist that the cost be covered by some reduction in the budget....

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 nycpoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 76
Re: U.S. HIV travel ban fully repealed yet ?
« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2009, 08:22:03 PM »
Thank you emeraldize for posting this. This is really a great News. Hopefully, the full law is implemented in next year or two.

:)
H

 


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