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Bush to ease ban
on HIV-positive people entering U.S.

Bush to ease ban
on HIV-positive people entering U.S.

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The White House announced on World AIDS Day that Bush would issue an executive order allowing HIV-positive people to enter the country on standard short-term tourist or business visas for visits up to 60 days.

President Bush has called for an easing of the ban on HIV-positive foreigners entering the United States without a special waiver, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

The ban originated in 1993 when Congress enacted legislation prohibiting HIV-positive foreigners from receiving visas or citizenship. As a result, the biannual International AIDS Conferences have not met in the United States since the San Francisco meeting in 1990.

The White House announced on World AIDS Day that Bush would issue an executive order allowing HIV-positive people to enter the country on standard short-term tourist or business visas for visits up to 60 days. It was unclear whether foreigners would still have to declare their HIV status, as they are asked to do now.

"It's a step away from a terribly discriminatory and inappropriate policy, but it doesn't go far enough," said Leonard Rubenstein, executive director of Physicians for Human Rights, in Washington, D.C. "This is a treatable disease. If you want to remove stigma from AIDS, you have to go the whole distance and eliminate all restrictions on entry to the United States for people with HIV." (The Advocate)

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