Legislation was introduced Friday that would repeal provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act that bar HIV-positive people from entering the United States, senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Gordon Smith of Oregon announced.
It's not easy figuring out exactly what voters want when it comes to health care. A Gallup poll released early this fall offered a dozen separate ways to expand health insurance coverage. Each suggestion garnered majority support, including tax breaks for small businesses, 94%; requiring large companies to offer health coverage or pay into a pool, 81%; and federal subsidies for the poor, 76%. The implication was clear: The public wants change. But two weeks ago Gallup released another poll. That poll showed most Americans are satisfied with their health coverage and with how much they pay for health care.
On World AIDS Day, White House officials said new rules would soon make it easier for people with HIV to travel to the United States. Democratic lawmakers and gay rights groups are complaining that the regulations proposed by the Homeland Security Department could actually create more barriers. Gay rights advocates have long opposed a 1993 federal law that strictly restricts travel and immigration to the U.S. by HIV-positive people, arguing it's outdated and discriminatory. Foreigners with the virus can obtain visas only after receiving a waiver from the Homeland Security Department in a cumbersome process that requires approval from DHS headquarters.
Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan stars in a video clip launched Thursday to promote condom use and raise AIDS awareness in China. The campaign, titled ''Life Is Too Good,'' includes three TV clips produced by Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon, who won an Oscar last year for their documentary on Chinese children orphaned by AIDS. Chan's video emphasizes that while danger is fine for the movies, it's best to play safe in real life.
Federal health officials are revising their estimate of how many people are infected by HIV each year, and advocacy groups say the number could rise by 35% or more. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the numbers are not final and won't be released until early next year. The CDC has been estimating about 40,000 new HIV cases occur in the nation each year. At a national HIV prevention conference in Atlanta this week, however, advocates claimed the new estimate is 55,000 or higher.
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