House Approves AIDS Plan, Which Lifts HIV Travel Ban

The House of Representatives did the right thing yesterday:

The House of Representatives voted 303 to 115 late Thursday to approve a sweeping global AIDS relief bill that includes language repealing a 1993 U.S. immigration law that prohibits HIV-positive visitors from entering the country and bars most foreigners with HIV from obtaining legal immigrant status.

The action by the House came one week after the Senate approved an identical version of the AIDS relief measure by a vote of 80 to 16.

The bill, which renews the highly popular U.S. foreign aide program known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) now goes to President Bush, who has said he plans to sign the legislation.

Even after Bush signs the plan, however, the Department of Health and Human Services must repeal its internal ban.