That's the promise of the International AIDS Society, the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with over 13,000 members in 188 countries. Previous conferences have not taken place in the US because of the ban on HIV-positive tourists, visitors and immigrants. This anachronism remains bizarre:
"In recent years, the United States government's leadership on HIV/AIDS has been unparalleled on the global stage," said IAS President, Dr Julio Montaner. "This long-standing law, which is contrary to all scientific evidence and human rights principles, is one of the U.S.'s weakest spots in HIV policy," continued Dr Montaner.
The only thing now putting the conference in doubt is that the implementation of the repeal of the ban, passed overwhelmingly by the Congress last year and supported by both president George W. Bush and Barack Obama, remains undone.
From the IAS press release today:
IAS Executive Director, Craig McClure explained that scientific evidence shows travel restrictions against HIV-positive people are ineffective prevention tools. "These laws are not consistent with current scientific knowledge, public health best practice, and humanitarian principles. Discriminatory laws and policies like this continue to fuel national and international stigma and do not protect public health. These laws sustain a culture of exclusion, rights violations and marginalization that impedes an effective response to the epidemic," said Mr McClure.
That the US is such a leader in AIDS research and prevention and yet still wedded to a 1987 Jesse Helms measure, fostered by extreme ignorance and openly discriminatory against people with HIV, is absurd.
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