Despite legislation to end the ban on HIV positive immigration and travel, the US Department of Homeland Security says it will only “streamline” the granting of visas to HIV positive people.
In July, President Bush signed legislation that included a reversal of the ban on HIV positive immigrants and tourists.
The move was seen as an end to the 1987 ban which activists and health experts had widely slated as unfair an unnecessary.
On Tuesday, however, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would not lift the ban entirely, but would instead give its consulates around the world the authority to grant temporary, non-immigrant visas to students or tourists who are HIV-positive.
“The timing of these regulations is deeply troubling,” said Victoria Neilson, Legal Director of Immigration Equality; an organisation dedicated to increasing media attention on the unequal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive individuals under US immigration law.
“Instead of simply ending the HIV travel ban, the administration is again treating HIV differently from any other medical condition.”
The organisation added that, “Regulatory change is needed to completely lift the ban; meanwhile, the HIV travel ban continues to be enforced. The regulations issued yesterday do not end the ban.”