US May Lift Ban on HIV-Positive Travelers

CDC wants to end 'stigma,' but 22-year-old rule has some support
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 17, 2009 12:50 PM CDT
A proposal would end restrictions on foreigners with HIV entering the US.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The CDC is considering ending the rule forbidding HIV-positive foreigners from entering the US, MSNBC reports. Congress voted last year to dump 1987 restrictions on entry to those with the condition, but the exclusion policy will remain in place until the department of health and human services lifts it. “We’re trying to end the stigma and the discriminatory practice for a disease that doesn’t warrant exclusion,” says a CDC official.

“There is no scientific or public health rationale for excluding people with HIV infection from the US,” says an HIV expert. The rules were put in place when people thought everyday contact could create an HIV risk, in what one expert calls a "hysterical reaction." But some worry about the proposed change. “It becomes a matter of collective responsibility because of the cost” of health care for HIV-positive people, says an immigration-control advocate.