For Immediate Release
Lifting HIV Travel Ban Will Finally End 'Federally Sanctioned Stigma'
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama today announced that the long-standing ban on
travel and immigration to the United States by HIV-positive individuals
will end in just over 60 days. The lifting of the Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) ban will remove HIV from the list of
"communicable diseases of public health significance." Previously,
people living with HIV and AIDS were not allowed to enter the U.S. and
non-citizens with HIV who are living in the U.S. could not stay.
The Task Force signed onto a letter circulated by Immigration
Equality to lift the HIV ban sent during the public comment period on
this regulatory change. The Task Force is also supporting the efforts
of Immigration Equality and other partner organizations to promote
these changes via the also New Beginnings initiative, a collaboration
of expert organizations, coordinated by the Task Force, pushing for
concrete federal administration policy and regulatory changes directly
benefiting the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
and eliminating discrimination from federal policies.
Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
"The lifting of the HIV travel ban will remove a federally
sanctioned stigma and sends a strong, clear message that the United
States is working to end discrimination against people living with HIV
and AIDS. Since HIV was the only disease singled out for exclusion by
an act of Congress, the ban undermined U.S. efforts to fight the HIV
pandemic. We applaud the approaching end of a discriminatory practice
that stigmatized those living with HIV and AIDS. It is long past time
to create a fair, humane and sensible HIV immigration policy."
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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, building the organizational capacity of our movement and generating groundbreaking research through our Policy Institute.