U.S. Changes HIV Policy To Allow Foreigners With Virus To Enter The Country
Los Angeles Times: "Last Monday, for the first time in 22 years, foreigners with HIV were legally allowed to enter the United States without their infection status being considered. Before that, even short-term visitors had to receive special permission - or lie on their visa application - to come here. A medical examination of people seeking to immigrate to the U.S. or who were already here but wanting to become permanent residents included an HIV test. Now, a person's HIV status does not prevent him or her from entering the U.S., and testing is no longer required for immigration." The United States screens immigrants coming to the U.S. for diseases to control illness that could spread through the population, and many are denied because they have diseases like SARS, tuberculosis and several sexually-transmitted diseases (Adams, 1/11).
Los Angeles Times, in a separate story: Medicare will now cover the cost of HIV testing for beneficiaries at risk of contracting the virus. "Medicare beneficiaries might seem to be in an odd age bracket to be concerned about HIV, but Medicare also covers many disabled people under age 65. Further, the number of people over age 50 diagnosed with HIV each year is rising, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health experts are hoping the Medicare coverage and other options for free and low-cost HIV testing will push people to check their HIV status" (Lunzer Kritz, 1/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.