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Witches' Brew: Brew News: Obama Lifts HIV/AIDS Travel Ban

Friday, October 30, 2009

Brew News: Obama Lifts HIV/AIDS Travel Ban

President Obama continues to move us out of the dark ages. Mr. O lifted the 22 year long travel ban that kept HIV+ people and those with AIDS from entering the country.

The President called it a "step that will encourage people to get tested and get treatment [and] it's a step that will keep families together, and it's a step that will save lives."

The US was the first nation to impose the ban - which was largely based on fear. The President went on to day that "if we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it!"

Obama also signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, which gives a 5% annual increase in federal support over the next four years for HIV/AIDS treatment for underinsured, low-income Americans.

Hats off to the Prez!


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At Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 4:22:00 PM EST , Anonymous Border Jumpers said...

Just FYI we are travel blogging from Africa (currently in Uganda) at our website called Border Jumpers or (via twitter @borderjumping).

Here is a post we wrote about the United States lifting the travel ban on people with HIV:

We might be naïve (and grossly uninformed), but we didn’t realize until we just opened the New York Times website that the United States had a ban on letting HIV-positive people travel or immigrate to the United States. In place for 22 years, the ban was enacted at the height of the AIDS epidemic when fear overruled science. Today, thankfully, some (but by no means all) of the stigma of HIV/AIDS has disappeared.

But the fact that the ban was ever in place is disturbing and confusing, especially as we write this from Nairobi, Kenya, a place where over seven percent of the adult population is infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The local newspapers classified ads advertise singles looking for love, who freely—and without shame—announce their HIV positive status.

We are also encouraged on the ground by the growing widespread availability of free condoms, the AIDS awareness/education campaigns, and growing number of clinics and medical facilities for sex workers. For Danielle, it is a remarkable improvement from her last visit to Kenya, when the media didn't report as widely about the disease. Still, the crisis continues to be widespread here--and the effects on farming, on the workforce, and on households is alarming.

All our best, Danielle Nierenberg and Bernard Pollack


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