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Action Alert, Africa , Health, HIV/AIDS, Poverty, Racism

Completely Abolish U.S. HIV Travel Ban

Completely Abolish U.S. HIV Travel Ban: Please write your Representative now!

Dear Friend,

Recently we celebrated the passage into law of H.R. 5501, the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (PL 110-293), which reauthorized the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to a tune of $48 billion over the next five years. In passing this legislation Congress lifted the 1987 ban on non-U.S. citizens living with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States, whether as visitors or immigrants. Africa Action had long campaigned against this shameful ban that did nothing to fight HIV in the U.S. but only reflected deplorable ignorance at the highest level of U.S. policy makers on how HIV is transmitted. In fact with this ban on, HIV/AIDS in the U.S. ballooned from being a localized problem to being the national crisis it is today.

Not only was the ban a terrible public health policy, it also seriously violated the human rights and dignity of people living with HIV/AIDS globally. It is because of this ban that no major international HIV/AIDS conference has ever been held in the U.S. Congress’s decision to lift this ban constitutes a major victory on the part of advocates and activists campaigning against HIV/AIDS internationally.

However the struggle is still on as HIV still appears on the list of “communicable diseases of public health significance” that automatically restricts entry into the United States. Please join Africa Action Board member and Congresswoman Barbara Lee in urging Congressional representatives to co-sign a letter urging the White House to completely abolish the discriminatory travel ban.

Write your Representative now
asking them to co-sign the Lee/Waxman/Berman letter to remove HIV from the list of diseases that automatically bar entry to the United States


For more information about Africa Action campaign to end HIV/AIDS in Africa, visit


Staff @ Africa Action


  1. acolyte

    So pray tell how does the US immigration authority tell that you are HIV positive when you are visiting the States?
    Do they scan you at the port of entry? Plus they already have people with HIV living in their own country so a foreign invasion should be the least of their worries.

  2. Sokari

    acolyte @ when you enter the US you are required to complete a form for immigration which includes the question on HIV/AIDs. You are also subject to searches of your luggage which could well reveal your HIV medication. Right now people who are positive enter the US by lying on the immigration form and by sending their medication by post to an address in the country rather than carrying it on their person. Doing this has health implications due to the stress of lying and fear of being found out by the authorities and then being deported.