President Obama Lifts 22 Year Ban on HIV-Positive People Entering U.S.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Friday was a good day for President Obama Ending the 22-year ban on travel to the U.S. by HIV-people, a promise Obama made to gay advocates during the campaign, the president said the restriction was “rooted in fear rather than fact.”

At a White House ceremony, President Obama said:

“If we want to be a global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it. We talk about reducing the stigma of this disease, yet we’ve treated a visitor living with it as a threat.”

The U.S. was one of only about a dozen countries that bar people with HIV from entering the country. Countries with such travel bans on include Brunei, China, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Enacted in 1987, during the dark days of the Reagan era, when fear that HIV could be transmitted by casual contact, the ban was further strengthened by Congress in 1993 as an amendment offered by the viciously homophobic Sen. Jesse Helms, a Republican from North Carolina.

In a related story, President Obama on Friday signed the Ryan White AIDS Care Act, the largest federal program providing assistance to low-income people with HIV or AIDS, allocating $2.1 billion.

This entry was posted in HIV/AIDS, LGBT, News, President Barack Obama, U.S. and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to President Obama Lifts 22 Year Ban on HIV-Positive People Entering U.S.

  1. feminazi says:

    This is indeed, splendid news. I am beginning to get the feeling that the USA is slowly rejoining the world of sane nations. Just reading those names, Reagan and Helms, I cringe at the memory. Those were the worst of the worst. Truly vile men who were not only stupid, but celebrated for being bigots.

  2. Rock says:

    It’s been so long since this ban went into effect I forgot it was even there. Good for Obama to make things right.

  3. Oh great, now I’m going to get AIDS. At least I don’t have to get gay married yet. Whew!

  4. libhomo says:

    This is wonderful news. Maybe Obama is starting to realize that people expect change to be more than a slogan.

  5. JollyRoger says:

    Saint Ronnie. Homophobe, bigot, elitist. And yet, the Rushpuibliscums talk about him like he was the Second Coming. And….. the beginning of the Rushpubliscum “failure is success if you say it is” meme that they STILL can’t shake.

  6. Randy Arroyo says:

    I’m very pleased with President Obama. To think we discriminated against peoples with HIV for 22 years just makes me sick. Reagan, Helms, and all the other homophobic douchebags from the 80’s. Puke.

  7. phil says:

    This is a great step forward from ignorance.

  8. dfwteddy says:

    How Long Will Gay Rights Activists Be Mollified By Obama Signing the Hate Crimes Bill Into Law and Overseeing the Dismantling of the HIV Travel Ban?
    Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    Not long—not now that Obama is back in court defending DOMA. Oh, and remember that gay guy—raped in his home country—and legally married to American citizen in Boston whose application for asylum was denied by the Obama administration because we can’t willy-nilly bend those immigration rules, even in cases where a person’s human rights may have been abused? Remember him?

    In an unusually protracted and closely watched case, the Obama administration has recommended political asylum for a Guatemalan woman fleeing horrific abuse by her husband, the strongest signal yet that the administration is open to a variety of asylum claims from foreign women facing domestic abuse.

    Wake me when the fierce advocacy begins.

  9. This just makes Common Sense. There’s no reason for us to fear HIV-Positive people. A victory for fairness. A defeat for fear and false Conventional Wisdom.

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