Social Question

holden's avatar

Obama is going to lift the 22-year-old entry ban for people with HIV/AIDS. What do you think about this?

Asked by holden (8447points) October 30th, 2009

I must be completely out of touch, because I didn’t even know such a ban existed, but I am grateful to Obama for striking that vestige of our ignorant past from our laws. What are your thoughts on this? Should the ban have stayed in place or not, and for what reasons?

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32 Answers

Grisaille's avatar

Hilariously, I got into an argument on twitter about this very issue (well, an extension of this issue. chick was upset her meds cost so much when “non citizens” can get them for free or very cheap, and says that these people are “part of the problem.” The word “rage” doesn’t quite do my emotions justice).

I’m with you, it’s great news.

holden's avatar

@Grisaille they took er jerbs!

Haleth's avatar

I’m glad. Whether that law was fair or not, it was very unkind.

sarahny's avatar

I didn’t know that this ban existed and but now that I do know I am glad that it’s being lifted.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s about effin time!

Conservative idiotic paranoia. They always did like shooting messengers.

SuperMouse's avatar

I think it is a great step forward. I’m wondering if soldier’s HIV status will be public information. That could have huge implications for soldiers on the battlefield.

jsammons's avatar

I also had no idea such a ban ever existed. That is an unfair discrimination and I’m very happy that it’s being lifted.

Darwin's avatar

In the bad old days, before people knew what caused specific diseases, such bans protected those already in the country from diseases that might not be prevalent here. However, today we understand a lot more about how to prevent exposure and spread of disease pathogens, so such a ban is no longer needed.

Good for Obama.

faye's avatar

does this mean immigrants with AIDS? because families from canada cannot move to the states if they have a down’s syndrome chid, an epileptic child, a cerebral palsy child—so i’ve heard. please tell me i’m wrong.

syz's avatar

@faye I STRONGLY suspect you are wrong. (looking for documentation)

This seems to indicate that Canada may not have allowed families with a medical disability into Canada. The most recent reference to the US restricting access I can find is for deaf immagrants in 1924. Still looking.

Mamradpivo's avatar

This story makes me think of blood testing at the border. We wouldn’t stand for it if any other country tried to pull this kind of BS on Americans.

rasputin6xc's avatar

I think it’s about time for this ban to be lifted. I’m very happy about it.

johanna's avatar

@fave
You are dead wrong.

As to the question: ENFIN!

faye's avatar

am i thinking about Australia?

SuperMouse's avatar

Ok I’ll say it: Everyone knows that HIV is spread through bodily fluids. Would it not be somewhat dangerous to have HIV positive soldiers out in the field? I mean the enemy’s main weapon of choice in Iraq and Afghanistan are IED’s, those can cause lots of carnage. How awful would it be if a soldier survived the attack only to find out he had been infected with the HIV virus by a comrade who was HIV positive? In those types of situations medics will do their best to follow protocol for preventing the spread of the virus, but in the heat of the moment, in trying to save someone’s life, mistakes can be made. I have absolutely no problem with HIV positive soldiers in the military, but I do not think they should be in combat roles.

syz's avatar

@SuperMouse When did we start talking about combat troops?

SuperMouse's avatar

@syz I don’t recall establishing that we weren’t talking about all members of the armed forces. Do you have a link that shows that this will not apply to combat troops.

Grisaille's avatar

i am so lost right now

syz's avatar

I didn’t think we were talking about armed forces at all, I thought the question was about immigration.

SuperMouse's avatar

OMG! I am the one who is lost! i really totally misread this question!

Mouse crawls in a corner and hides.

oratio's avatar

@SuperMouse But it was an interesting input. Something that could be discussed.

Grisaille's avatar

It’s okay, @SuperMouse. we still wuv ewe

holden's avatar

Actually, @SuperMouse makes an interesting point and I wouldn’t mind it being discussed here. If anyone is still actually following this thread.

oratio's avatar

@holden Why not make a new question?

Kayak8's avatar

Wow, this looks like a great place to jump in (not).

The ban that was lifted was specifically for those non-US citizens coming into the US. Under the old law, if you were going to be here for a while (various visa/asylee/refugee types) you had to get an HIV and TB test and, if positive, had to get a certification that you would not become a burden on our healthcare system.

Curiously, even with that law in place, the Ryan White Act (CARE Act, Treatment Modernization Act, and most recently Treatment Extension Act) did not preclude these programs from offering medications regardless of citizenship status. Some of the reason for this is that folks on antiretroviral therapy are much less likely to transmit the disease to others—so this is a good thing.

As for the military, all members are tested annually (privately, not publically) to reduce the risk of the concern Supermouse raised.

proXXi's avatar

Typical Compromise the Country Obama fare.

Could the OP explain how the ban was ignorant?

No AIDS literature I’ve read said that AIDS can only be transmitted between American Citizens.

oratio's avatar

@proXXi With that logic, american citizens with AIDS would never be allowed to travel outside the US. Locked in. Luckily, most of the world is not that ignorant and Americans with HIV or AIDS are free to travel around.

The few other countries that ban people with HIV to enter are: Iraq, China, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Sudan, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Moldova, Russia, Armenia, and South Korea. I think that should speak something.

Darwin's avatar

Knowing what I do about some of those countries, their justification is that no one in those countries has HIV/AIDS, in part because drug use, unprotected sex with people who are not one’s spouse, and homosexuality don’t exist there. ~

oratio's avatar

@Darwin Agree wholeheartedly. Another question is ban of blood donation from homosexual men. I am not sure what to think about that. I’ve read that AIDS is more prevalent in the gay community, but also that heterosexual transfer is the most frequent. They test all blood that is donated, but that might not be enough.

Darwin's avatar

They won’t let me donate blood either, and I am an HIV-free, heterosexual female who has never used drugs.

It is because I had mononucleosis that affected my liver. It was a disease of the liver and so was called “hepatitis” but it isn’t any of the forms of hepatitis that are problems. Nonetheless, here I sit with plenty of O negative, unable to share.

oratio's avatar

@Darwin That’s just silly, and so ironic that you have O negative and can’t share it. Coincidentally, I just donated blood today.

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