Senate Passes AIDS Bill, Provision Lifting HIV Travel-Immigration Ban

RibbonIn an 80-16 vote, the Senate today approved the Lantos/Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act (S 2731) which reauthorizes the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and along with it, an amendment secured by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) that lifts a ban on travel and immigration to the U.S. by those who are HIV-positive. Under the current plan, HIV-positive people can be considered “inadmissible.” Permanent entry and short term visits can be denied by border agents under this policy. The bill now goes to conference committee before heading on to the president.

This morning I posted that North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole attempted to change the name of the bill, adding the name of homophobic AIDS-enabler and former Senator Jesse Helms.

Elizabeth Dole Wants to Improve Jesse Helms’ AIDS Record Posthumously [tr]


  1. says

    Thank you Andy for reporting this. This is an important initiative and does begin to show that our leaders do have compassion….progress.

    Thank you all on the ground for working so hard to help get this bill passed.

  2. Bob R says

    I read on HuffPo this morning that the Bill passed WITHOUT Helms’ name attached to it. Bush will be given credit for the Bill and the Republicans were able to keep abstinence funding and no discrimination against religious groups funding in the Bill. At least 50% of all funds must go towards treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS. This money will be spent in Africa and Asia. The Bill also lifts the travel ban for HIV Poz folks who want to enter the U.S. It now returns to the House.

  3. Marc in Chgo says

    It’s about time we get rid of the travel ban, but I wonder why the travel ban is coming up now?

    Is it because Chicago is vying for the 2016 Olympics?

  4. says

    It’s coming up now because now is when the bill to fund PEPFAR came up. The amendment came from Kerry and Smith to a bill that had already come over from the House.

    It’s a good thing to be funding, but of course the conservatives can feel good about fighting AIDS in Africa, where it’s mostly not about the gays. Plus they get to keep insisting on abstinence and fidelity with all the strings attached!

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