Human Rights Victory: Katheen Sebelius to End the HIV Travel Ban, Calls It "Unfair" and "Unsafe"

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised to end the travel ban yesterday during her keynote address at the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference. She thanked the 21,000 people who submitted comments in support of lifting the ban—many of them PHR supporters—and said HHS is going through the comments now.Check out Secretary Sebelius' comments below—and know you were part of ending this discriminatory ban:

We know that HIV/AIDS stigma remains a huge problem with real repercussions in people's lives.? There are people who don't get tested because they're afraid they could get beaten up or lose their place to live if the test comes back positive.? They don't pick up a flyer about treatment because they're afraid if they're seen with it, someone will make a judgment about their sexual orientation or their drug use.? Because we care about all of our friends, families, and neighbors, we need to send a message that HIV/AIDS may be a serious condition, but we have the knowledge and tools to help people live successfully with this condition.Sometime later this year, we will strike a major blow against this stigma when we finally lift the rule -sometimes referred to as the "HIV entry ban"-that includes HIV on the list of diseases that can bar entry into this country.? This change has been a long time coming.The ban was not only unfair.? It was also unsafe.? The more accepted people with HIV/AIDS feel, the more open they are about their HIV status.? The more open people can be about their HIV status, the more likely other people are to get tested.? The more likely people are to get tested, the slower the spread of HIV.? It's a virtuous cycle and it starts with ending the stigma.(Read the rest of Sebelius' comments.)

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