Senate Lifts HIV Travel Ban, Approves Billions In Aid

We’re giving the United States Senate a big thumbs up this morning. The legislators yesterday made some serious headway in the fight against HIV.

First, they approved a $50 billion in international funding over the next five years, which will help in areas such as Africa and Asia.

Meanwhile, the Senators also voted to lift the travel ban on HIV-positive travelers.

…A measure added to the Senate bill by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Gordon Smith, R-Ore., [reverses] a policy that has made it difficult for HIV-positive foreigners to visit or seek residency in the United States.

“For 20 years the United States has barred HIV-positive travelers from entering the country even for one day,” said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality. “Today the Senate said loud and clear that AIDS exceptionalism must come to an end.”

The bill will now be hashed out in the House, which approved the aid back in April.