Thursday, November 08, 2007

China To Drop HIV Travel Ban

Reuters is reporting that China intends to make a change to its ban on HIV-positive people entering the country that will make it have a more liberal stance on this issue than current United States immigratio policy. U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) has introduced a bill in Congress to lift the current United States ban on travel or immigration by HIV-positive people that was enacted into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
"China has decided to change its immigration laws, scrapping travel restrictions," Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund, told a news conference.

"The new law, which hopefully will be passed in the coming months, will be in line with the global conventions, which recognize that travel restrictions for HIV-positive people do not have any public health value," he said.

Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu did not give a timeline for the change, but said China was committed to making the amendment.

"Modifying laws and regulations is quite a complicated process and it takes some time. I must be very candid with you, that this process has not been completed yet," he said.

"But I would like to ask the international community and the media to rest assured that China would honor its commitment ..." he said.

Congresswoman Lee's bill, H.R. 3337 (The HIV Nondiscrimination in Travel and Immigration Act of 2007), currently has 24 co-sponsors and is unlikely to go very far in the current session of Congress.

It would be interestng to see what current Democratic (and Republican) presidential candidates think of this legislation.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

this only shows how backward america is becoming with regards to tackling stigma and discrimination on people living with hiv.one would have thought that china would be the last country to change such rules,since its been widely criticised for violations of human rights and democracy.
the new rules introduced by chertoff regarding hiv travellers to the u.s for short term travel are just as tough as before and hiv people still have to disclose their status.its a terrible shame that for a country that has invested a lot of financial assistance globally to tackle hiv/aids,its reputation is becoming affected by its fear of hiv despite the scientific evidence that suggest that hiv is not a disease that can be transmitted via casual contact.america has to deal with the issue of prejudice,fear and denial.americans are dying of aids on george bush's back door and i bet those congress people dont really want to know ,they probably pretend its not happening .

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