AILA Welcomes CDC Proposal to Remove HIV from Definition of Communicable Diseases

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 09070130 (posted Jul. 1, 2009)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
CONTACT:
George Tzamaras
202-507-7649
gtzamaras@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposal to remove "Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection" from the definition of "communicable disease of public health significance" which previously barred individuals from entering the United States. This proposed regulatory repeal follows through on the change in law enacted by a bipartisan Congress and signed by President Bush last July.

"The rationale for maintaining HIV infection as an excludable condition is no longer valid based on current medical and scientific knowledge and public health practice, and experience which has informed us on the characteristics of the virus, the modes of transmission of HIV, and the effective interventions to prevent further spread of the virus," said Bernie Wolfsdorf, president of AILA.

"This proposed rule will remove a discriminatory provision of immigration law that weakens families, limits employment, and stifles innovation and invention. Removing the rule will strengthen families by uniting and keeping them together, enable companies to recruit the best employees without regard to HIV status, and will finally allow scientists, researchers, and other individuals to travel to the U.S. to attend and participate in various meetings and conferences that can stimulate innovation and invention. At the same time it helps remove the stigma of, and discrimination against, HIV-infected people," added Wolfsdorf. "The proposed change would also bring the U.S. in line with current science and international standards of public health practice."

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