Mar 22, 2008
This is in response to the outrage people have expressed at preventing HIV+ travelers into the US. (And wondering about going to other countries). As Dr. Pierone (the poor soul charged with keeping me alive) can confirm it is possible to immigrate to the US with HIV as long as you have a US Citizen as a spouse.
The largest issues is what's called 'public charge' and while it would be nice to just say sure come to the US and get medical care the fact is it would bankrupt our way of life. Anyone who has been outside the country can attest to the endless lines that queue at US embassies as people look to come here.
Certainly there should be a tourist visa but in the few countries I have gone to where they would have banned me (Russia, Australia, China) I just lied on the visa application. I'd do the same if I was coming to the US too. (and not a citizen) The worst they could actually do is send me home. So it's just not such a big deal.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks for your input! However the entire situation remains unjust and problematic. As for having a U.S. citizen as a spouse, that wouldn't help gay immigrants, as same-sex marriage is not recognized here, except for in Massachusetts. Hiding meds is stressful and difficult. For those folks on regimens that require injections (Fuzeon), hiding medications is near impossible. I do have some good news to report. AIDS activities have added language to the PEPFAR bill that would delete the 15-year-old discriminatory travel ban law! Hopefully that will get passed. If not, I'm sure the law will eventually be abolished when common sense and compassion return to the White House, i.e. when Obama gets elected! (Please send my very best personal regards to that "poor soul" charged with keeping you alive! You are indeed fortunate to have Dr. Pierone quarterbacking your care. He's one of the best!)
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