A reader writes:

I am a white South African, teaches Constitutional Law at an SA university and follow US politics very closely. I am supposed to go and teach at a Law School in the US for a few weeks next year but I am having such a hard time deciding whether I should or could do it. It would require me to ask for SPECIAL BLOODY PERMISSION to enter the US merely because of my HIV status and that seems so insulting and so reactionary to me. It suggests that being HIV positive is some kind of evil perverted disease that one should apologise for.

Even South Africa - whose President in the past have denied the link between HIV and AIDS - do not have a similar policy. It really makes me want to go to a more civilized place - Colombia? Sudan? Uzbekistan? - but I studied in New York and love the US so I do not know what to do. It is so sad that the US, who used to be a beacon of hope and light for many reasonable people in the world, has come to this.

It may be over soon. Here's how you can help. It says something that George W. Bush has had a more retrograde policy on HIV in this solitary respect than Thabo Mbeki.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.