Just last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued new regulations that streamlines the process of issuing non-immigrant visas to people with HIV/AIDS who meet all other visa requirements. The regulations change the old process of issuing visas to HIV patients on a case-by-case basis.
This also fulfills a part of the United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, which President Bush signed earlier this year. The Act calls for the removal of HIV from the list of diseases of public health significance that prohibited people from visiting the U.S.
Read more about the new process here.
This announcement is great news to those of us trying to reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS. While acknowledging HIV/AIDS as a public health issue of importance, unnecessary procedures promote misperceptions of how the virus is spread, and make life that much harder for HIV/AIDS patients. “Plus one” for the Department of Homeland Security.