The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has just published proposed regulations that will soon eliminate the HIV travel and immigration ban once and for all. Once finalized, the regulations will remove HIV from the list of “communicable diseases of public health significance.” Once HIV is removed from this list, the HIV ban, which has lasted over two decades will finally come to an end.
We still have a couple of procedural hurdles to clear, but the end is definitely in sight. None of this would have been possible without the leadership of Senator John Kerry, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and former Senator Gordon Smith, who led the fight in Congress last year to remove the statutory HIV ban. Immigration Equality has also convened a broad-based coalition that has continued to push for full equality under U.S. immigration law for people living with HIV.
[Editors Note: The text of the proposed removal of the HIV ban is availble as a PDF file here.]