Friday, October 30, 2009


I was just on Twitter, and I was kind shocked to see that "HIV" was a trending topic. So, curious me checked it out. It looks like Obama is lifting a ban that prevented people with HIV/AIDS from coming into America. I didn't even know such a ban existed. And I feel kinda retarded for it. Such blatant discrimination going on in America. Anyways, that's neither here not there. The reason I wanted to quickly blog about this was because of the outrage coming out of the twitter community. So many people seemed pissed and one even said Obama was stupid. Well, I applaud Obama for taking this step. Here's a snippet from an article at Huff Post:

In 1987, at a time of widespread fear and ignorance about HIV, the Department of Health and Human Services added the disease to the list of communicable diseases that disqualified a person from entering the U.S.

The department tried in 1991 to reverse its decision but was opposed by Congress, which in 1993 went the other way and made HIV infection the only medical condition explicitly listed under immigration law as grounds for inadmissibility to the U.S.

The law effectively has kept out thousands of students, tourists and refugees and has complicated the adoption of children with HIV. No major international AIDS conference has been held in the U.S. since 1993, because HIV-positive activists and researchers cannot enter the country.

Obama said lifting the ban "is a step that will save lives" by encouraging people to get tested and to get treatment.

I think this is a step in the right direction. In class yesterday we actually talked about the term "equality," and what it meant to my students. I didn't realize that the very next day we would see an act of equality working in action. I think we need to realize that people that are affected with this disease are not horrible people. (One twitter comment said people should stop sharing needles, but this directly overlooks that HIV is something that people develop for a number of reasons besides needle sharing or high-risk sexual behavior.)

I think this is a step in the right direction because it is acknowledging that people with AIDS and HIV are citizens of a global community. This is a disease that needs to end!


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