After 22 years, this ban on people with HIV/AIDS entering the US has finally been lifted, as of yesterday. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be banned from a country because of a medical condition, that although it doesn’t yet have a cure, people know how to prevent spreading it and knowing how to live with it. Having a cross border ban is not going to prevent people in the US from contracting the virus. When the law was put in place in 1987, little was known about the virus, but we’ve come a long way in 22 years.
There are so many repercussions to something like this. People’s careers could have (and probably were) affected or limited, families would have been divided – so sad. Some people actually ended up getting criminal records because they lied about not having it and crossed the border, or didn’t even know about the law. The law has been around for 22 years, and I didn’t know about til earlier this year when it came up in conversation. I was shocked!
In 2008, approximately 65,000 Canadians were HIV positive. They will all now be able to travel to the United States. On January 1st, Korea officially lifted their own ban as well. Korea of all places before the US? Yikes. Oh well, at least they are both past that now.
Washington, D.C., is set to host to the 2012 International AIDS Conference — only now possible with the removal of the ban, as stated by the administration of President Barack Obama yesterday.
Check out the video of the Secretary General’s announcement: