When the proliferation of the HIV virus and AIDS first manifested itself in the American consciousness decades ago, there was much confusion surrounding the nature of the virus and of its origin. While certainly great care must be shown towards those suffer from the ravages of AIDS, especially those who carry the virus and can transmit it to others, it should not be a source of stigma to the carrier nor should it prohibit him or her from enjoying the advantages that other people have.
Realistically, so much more is known about HIV and AIDS and how it can destroy lives than in the past. Yet, it was only recently that a change to USA immigration laws was brought about by the United States government regarding people who have tested HIV positive.
The latest immigration law to be amended in terms of popular practice is the lifting of a travel ban on those who carry HIV and wish to immigrate to the United States. This revision of USA immigration laws comes at the same time that another country, South Korea, is also doing away with this restriction.
This latest immigration law revision is a reversal of a precedent set 23 years ago by the Immigration and Naturalization Act, a division of USA immigration laws that was meant as a protective measure but ultimately proved to be discriminatory in nature. Worse yet, it seems that this latest immigration law reversal was not built on solid science.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act first brought forth in the 1980's made potential immigrants inadmissible on the basis that HIV and AIDS were considered communicable diseases. The fact that the government could so simply turn this decision around speaks to the inaccuracy of the information that first informed it. The first new immigrant to feel the effects of the lifting of the ban under this latest immigration law amendment has already been identified as a man from the Netherlands, so it is certain that this modification to the rule is fully functional.
The modification of USA immigration laws, in terms of its place on the total world timeline, is among the latest. Immigration law will yet see other changes to this standard, however, as there are yet still nations who are upholding the ban on immigration for HIV-positive applicants.
The list of nations and territories still refusing to admit carriers of the HIV virus are Brunei, China, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In terms of the wait for carriers of the virus, 23 years is a long wait. Still, in terms of the staying power of some constitutional provisions, it is thankful that this discriminatory chapter of USA immigration laws closed so quickly.