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After the Entry Ban, Why Danger Persists for Immigrants Living With HIV in the U.S.

Veteran Advocates Agree, HIV May Not Be an Immigrant's Biggest Problem Anymore

December 18, 2013

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Victoria Ojeda

Victoria Ojeda

Cristina Velez

Cristina Velez

As we move into the fifth year without the decades-old U.S. ban on entry and immigration for people living with HIV -- and enact visions of a country free of the Defense of Marriage Act -- what has changed for HIV-positive immigrants living with HIV, or vulnerable to becoming HIV positive, in the U.S.? "As long as we have a climate that's dangerous for immigrants," remarks longtime immigration justice advocate Dr. N. Ordover, "it's going to be dangerous for immigrants with HIV."

TheBody.com caught up with three experts working in different areas of immigration and HIV, to map from multiple angles the current HIV landscape for immigrants in the U.S. Victoria Ojeda, Ph.D., of the University of California - San Diego School of Medicine, has researched immigrant health issues in the U.S. for 15 years, the last eight in Mexico working on issues of deportee health and HIV vulnerability; N. Ordover, Ph.D., was a founder and leader of the Coalition to Lift the Bar -- an alliance of HIV, immigrant, human rights, and LGBTQ service and advocacy organizations and individuals living with HIV, which successfully campaigned to overturn the HIV entry ban -- and a member of UNAIDS' international team convened to address the issue of bans on entry and residence among people with HIV worldwide; and Cristina Velez is the supervising attorney in the immigration practice at HIV Law Project in New York City, which recently merged with Housing Works to become the largest legal service provider for people living with HIV in the New York area.

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