June 29, 2009

June 29, 2009
Obama Takes Steps to End the HIV Travel Ban

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Monday and the start of another work week. I hope you had a safe and great weekend.

I have started back on my workouts. So after my morning protein shake, I had a back and bicep workout. It was great to work out and get rid of some of the stress from the past couple of weeks. Plus it feels great when you get the muscle pump after your workout.

But I have other great news today. The federal Office of Management and Budget posted a notice on its website June 26 saying that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could take steps to remove a travel regulation that prohibits HIV-positive travelers from entering the United States, The Advocate reports. Specifics about the regulatory change will be available in the next few days.

“We will not know all of the details until the HHS regulation is posted,” said Steve Ralls, communications director for Immigration Equality. “Congress’s intent was clear that this should be a clean lift of the ban our hope is that will be reflected in the HHS regulation.”

Former President George W. Bush signed into law a measure to remove the HIV travel ban last summer, but HHS has yet to put the new policy into effect. After a substantial public comment and approval phase, the new travel regulation could go into effect in the fall.

My friend in Canada, Martin, and I have been emailing back and forth all day on the issue. Martin is also one of our Ambassadors of Hope here at the project. See he lives in Canada and is HIV positive so he can not come for a visit. And I think the ban is not only wrong but also stupid, ignorant and based in fear and hysteria.

I told him he should still have the rally since everything is not signed, sealed and delivered yet. Since the rally is scheduled for a couple of days after the next part, he will have time to know whether it is a rally to still have the ban lifted or a party to thank the President for doing so. So stay tuned for future developments. Dab the AIDS Bear will be at the rally so you know that means pictures.

So a big shot out to Martin and all the others helping with the rally! I look forward to the day when we can all visit and even have a World HIV/AIDS Conference in the states again.

So I am urging everyone to keep their fingers crossed that we will finally get rid of this stupid ban and be the leaders of the free world we say we are.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab