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From Bad to Worse

From Bad to Worse


While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services continues to delay issuing regulations to end the nation's policy barring HIV-positive immigrants and visitors, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a rule to 'streamline' the waiver process associated with the policy, making a bad situation even worse, advocates say. Under the new rule, a short-term traveler (one wishing to enter the country for less than 30 days) must meet 12 stringent criteria that impose unnecessary burdens on HIV-positive travelers and continue to stigmatize those living with HIV. Some -- like those requiring proof of health insurance -- apply only to HIVers and not to those with any other chronic disease, while other criteria require customs officers to determine whether HIVers seeking entry have enough appropriate medications on hand. 'How could they know whether it's medically appropriate for a particular traveler to need antiretroviral medications at all?' points out Victoria Neilson, legal director of Immigration Equality. Additionally, a traveler seeking a waiver to the HIVer ban must give up the right to apply for a green card from within the United States -- even if he or she marries a U.S. citizen. 'In July, Congress issued a bipartisan message to this administration: Remove HIV as a barrier to travel and immigration,' says Neilson. 'Instead of simply ending the HIV travel ban, the Administration is again treating HIV differently from any other medical condition.'

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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