April 24, 2010

April 24, 2010
China Ends HIV Travel Ban

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Saturday and I hope your weekend is off to a safe and great start. We are having another beautiful and sunny day here.

Today is the AIDS Walk at Theis Park in Kansas City, Missouri. Dab the AIDS Bear will be walking with our four Ambassadors of Hope: Greg Hetzler, Aaron Wolf, Jim Leckliter and Renica Justrenice. So be sure to walk up, say hello and get your picture taken with Dab the AIDS Bear in support of people living with HIV and AIDS when you see us.

I received some great news about another country revoking their HIV travel ban. As many of you know Dab the AIDS Bear and I worked for years to finally get the HIV travel ban in the United States repealed this past year. Now another country is doing the same: China.

China is ready to lift its decades old ban on HIV positive foreigners, the country’s State Council announced April 19 according to Xinhua News Agency. China currently bars people living with mental disorders or infectious diseases such as leprosy and HIV from entering the country.

While the council did not disclose when the ban would be lifted, a formal announcement of the policy shift is expected before the opening of the Shanghai Expo on May 1. Rules regarding long-term residence and immigration of HIV-positive people will be clearly defined in the future.

“The ban imposed in the 1980s due to a lack of knowledge is obsolete and discriminatory,” said He Xiong, deputy director of the Beijing center for disease prevention and control. “As HIV/AIDS cases have been seen in all provinces in China, a travel ban on foreigners will not help local public health.”

According to the article, China remains one of 60 countries still enforcing HIV travel bans.

More than 740,000 people in China are HIV positive.

So another country finally sees the light. Let us hope the rest of the countries follow suit and end this discriminatory policy that has been going on for decades.

Stayed tuned for pictures from the AIDS Walk in Kansas City this weekend. Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab