Saturday, 4 July 2009
Some of you may recall I blogged a while back about the fact that the USA was still a no go area for HIV+ individuals like myself since 1987 on the absurd premise that HIV still appears on their list of “dangerous and contagious” diseases which present a public health risk! I know, Go Figure!!
Well I am pleased to report that there is a new hope that these draconian restrictions on entry to the US for people with HIV will finally be removed when the US government indicated that it had completed a review of the removal of HIV from the list of communicable diseases that prevent myself, and many thousands of other HIV+ individuals entry to the supposed "Land of the Free".
Once the regulations have been removed, HIV will no longer be a bar for entry to the US for visitors or migrants and I may just manage to get back to Las Vegas and win back the shit load of cash I lost o the poker & Blackjack tables in 2003!
Before I can think about packing my cases and heading off there, there now be two periods of consultation, which could see the ban finally removed by late 2009! Can I get a WooHoo!?
Joking aside once these consulations are complete it now looks increasingly likely that the regulations prohibiting entry to the US for HIV+ travellers and migrants will be removed. The Office of Management and Budget said that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could move forward with the revision of the regulations.
So far, a victory for common sense. However:
These revised regulations have not yet been published. Once they are, there is then a lengthy and complex period of consultation and review. Firstly they will be open for public consultation for 45 days. The regulations can be amended by the Department of Health and Human Services to reflect comments. The revised regulations will then have to be returned to the Office of Management and Budget for approval. A further period of review lasting between 30 and 60 days will then follow, after which the revised regulation will come into effect.
Being the eternal optimist that I am, I and thinking Christmas in Vegas, Summer in Sanfrancisco and the Fall in New England watching the leaves turn golden in the cool autumn breeze! A dream I have been harbouring every since I was diagnosed in September 2007! Hell, I may even be ablt to spend my 40th Birthday out there!
However, until this lengthy & protracted process is complete, individuals with HIV will still need to obtain a lengthy and soewhat degrading visa to legally enter the USA.
I live in hope!