HHS ‘Preparing Revised Rule’ on HIV-Positive Visitors to U.S., Letter to Editor Says
A recent Washington Post editorial "incorrectly asserted" that HHS "still has to decide" to modify regulations "so that HIV-positive noncitizens may be admitted to the United States," CDC Director Julie Gerberding writes in a Post letter to the editor. According to Gerberding, HHS has "clearly stated" its "intent to remove HIV infection as an inadmissible condition for entering the United States." She adds, "We are already preparing the revised rule." In addition, because the "rulemaking process requires a public comment period, which takes time to do, the Bush administration took an interim step" last week, Gerberding writes, adding that the Department of Homeland Security, "after seeking extensive public comment, published a final draft rule that streamlines the waiver process permitting HIV-positive individuals to visit the United States." According to Gerberding, the DHS rule "would make it easier for them to gain admission to our country for up to 30 days, whether they visit as tourists or participants at HIV/AIDS conferences." The Bush administration is "committed to removing HIV infection as soon as possible from the list of communicable diseases that prohibit entry to the United States -- a fact demonstrated by this interim step and the process underway at HHS," Gerberding concludes (Gerberding, Washington Post, 10/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.