The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

Immigration Reform Bill Denies Treatment To Immigrants With HIV & AIDS

September 24, 1996

The Immigration Reform Bill (H.R. 2202) is currently on the House floor. It will be voted on. This bill blatantly discriminates against all immigrants by denying legal and undocumented immigrants living with HIV and AIDS access to treatment.

Call your Representatives immediately and tell them to:

"Vote against discrimination; vote YES on the motion to recommit and vote NO on final passage of H.R. 2202."

HOUSE SWITCHBOARD: (202) 225-3121

*** California residents should note that your Senator DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), was a member of the conference committee and voted yes on the final conference report language H.R. 2202. She has announced her intention to vote for "cloture" which will help move this bill quickly to the Senate for a final vote. She should be reminded of the many lives that will be adversely impacted in her state if this bill becomes law.

Denounce HIV Discrimination!!
Oppose The Immigration Reform Bill

Tomorrow, September 24, the House will vote on the Immigration Reform bill, H.R. 2202. The conference report contains provisions that would eliminate all publicly funded HIV treatment services for legal immigrants and undocumented individuals. These provisions were not included in either of the House or Senate passed immigration reform measures, but added during conference. Conferees were denied an opportunity to offer an amendment to strike these provisions.

On behalf of the 1400 community organizations and people living with HIV/AIDS across the nation represented by AIDS Action, WE URGE YOU TO VOTE YES TO RECOMMIT THE CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2202 AND VOTE NO ON FINAL PASSAGE.

The recently signed welfare reform law already dramatically restricts the health care access available for all immigrants and undocumented persons. The conference report on the Immigration Reform Bill goes even further by explicitly denying medical care for legal immigrants and undocumented persons who test positive for HIV. While they may still access testing and treatment for all other communicable diseases, in the case of HIV/AIDS they only have access to HIV testing and not HIV treatment. If they test positive for any other communicable disease they will have access to treatment for those diseases; if they test positive for HIV, on the other hand, they will be barred from accessing necessary medical care for HIV/AIDS.

Current federal immigration law already prohibits individuals who test positive for the HIV virus from immigrating to the United States. Therefore, the provisions barring individuals from receiving treatment for HIV or AIDS will only affect those immigrants who contract the virus while in the U.S. There is no logical public health or public policy argument for distinguishing HIV and AIDS from all other communicable diseases. It makes no sense to allow testing and treatment for tuberculosis or influenza while refusing it for HIV and AIDS.

The only explanation for these provisions is mean-spiritedness and blatant discrimination. Demonstrate your opposition to HIV discrimination by voting YES on the motion to recommit H.R. 2202 and NO on final passage of H.R. 2202.

These provisions will effectively undermine the nation's ability to control the spread of the AIDS epidemic and to respond to the needs of HIV-infected individuals for life-saving medical and care services .

For more information, contact:
Tracy Mickens-Hundley, Director of Community Outreach
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, extension 3053
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.