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Congresswoman Lee Joins in Calling for Removal of Travel Ban for Those With HIV/AIDS

 Congresswoman Lee Joins Colleagues in Calling for the Removal of Travel Ban for Those Living With HIV/AIDS


Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) joined 34 members of Congress in writing in support of the proposal by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to remove the current regulatory ban on travel and immigration for people living with HIV who wish to enter the United States.

In the letter, Lee and the other co-signees praised the HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for “presenting a well-reason and thoughtful analysis” of the rule change and urged both agencies to move as swiftly as possible to finalize and implement the rule.

The following are excerpts of the letter that was delivered to Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday, August, 17th and signed by Lee and the 34 other Members of Congress:


“Ending the U.S. travel and immigration restrictions on people living with HIV is long overdue. Today, the United States is one of twelve countries in the world that maintain an outright ban on entry for people living with HIV.

“Removing the ban will lend greater credibility to U.S. foreign assistance efforts to fight the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly in helping to combat stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV in other countries

“Again, we commend the Department for issuing this proposed rule change to remove the regulatory ban and finally put an end to this unjust and discriminatory policy. We urge you to move forward swiftly to finalize and implement the proposed rule.”

Congresswoman Lee has been a leader in the fight against the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. She co-authored legislation signed into law creating the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in 2000, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003, and the PEPFAR Reauthorization Act in 2008. She authored original legislation to remove the travel and immigration ban in 2007 and played a key role in repealing the statutory ban as part of the PEPFAR Reauthorization in 2008.

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