In 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.