Posts Tagged AIDS
About 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the US but about 240,000 don’t know they are infected. Each year, about 50,000 people get infected with HIV in the US. Getting an HIV test is the first step to finding out if you have HIV and getting medical care. Without medical care, HIV leads to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and early death.
Apparently, millions of sexually active Americans have never even had an HIV test. There’s no excuse for that.
At least for those of us with insurance, HIV isn’t a death sentence, not anymore. But if you don’t even know you’re infected, it can become one incredibly quickly.
Former Senator Jesse Helms, the notorious author of dozens of measures attacking GLBT and HIV-positive people during his years in the Senate, died on July 4. Unfortunately, the legacy of discrimination against HIV-positive people he helped to create lives on in a law that bars nearly every foreign person with HIV from entering the United States. That’s right – with very few exceptions, an HIV-positive individual cannot come to the United States for any reason, be it to visit, work, study or become a legal resident.
It’s an embarrassment and an outrage. And at long last, we have a chance to bring it to an end.
Earlier this year, Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Smith (R-OR) added language to repeal this discriminatory law that was included in legislation reauthorizing efforts to fight HIV across the globe, commonly known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). We thought we were close to finally ending the discriminatory ban which prevents HIV positive individuals from entering the country or obtaining legal U.S. citizenship.