Obama finally ended the US travel ban for HIV-positive people.Â In signing it, he noted:
Twenty-two years ago, in a decision rooted in fear rather than fact, the United States instituted a travel ban on entry into the country for people living with HIV/AIDS.Â Now, we talk about reducing the stigma of this disease — yet we’ve treated a visitor living with it as a threat.Â We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic — yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people from HIV from entering our own country.If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it.
Small, but important, steps.
J. Tyler Ballance
I salute your embrace of tolerance. What other disease carriers are you eager to have admitted to the United States?
I question whether this move is prudent. I would like to see some conclusive research that indicates that those who carry the AIDS virus are not a threat to America.
Are AIDS carriers likely to not engage in unprotected sex while here? Has their past activities given us any basis to conclude that they will not actively spread their disease while here?
I know we have had prior prohibitions against persons with TB, and other highly communicable and lethal diseases, so what is the rationale for leaving those prohibitions in place while giving the AIDS carriers a bye?
This policy change was made without communicating a scientific rationale to our citizens, making the decision seem quite reckless; as though making a political statement trumped protecting the public health.
Tyler, you’re a strange sort. If I’d not seen your postings over the years, I’d assume you a troll. But, on balance, I assume you’re sincere (as much as many of your posts make me think otherwise).
You’re on the wrong side of assumptions, here. There are lots of sicknesses and diseases that can be spread while traveling. And yet we don’t screen for them.
The point is is that HIV was singled out out of ignorance and fear. There are multitudes of threats that are passively transmitted (unlike HIV), and we don’t screen for them. Me? I’m quite comfortably removing such ignorant restrictions. And really, if you think it’s confined to gay males, well, you’ve got some reading to do.
I don’t fear for the US or infection rates with this change. We’ll be just fine. And with the removable of silly restrictions like the HIV travel ban, we’ll be even better.