US repeals its ban on HIV arrivals

James Bone; 6/1/10

The US has lifted a 23-year ban on visitors infected with the HIV virus that had put it in the company of such countries as Saudi Arabia, Libya and Sudan. The ban was imposed in 1987 amid fears that HIV/Aids could be spread by sharing lavatories or even coughing. It prompted health scientists to boycott the US when holding conferences on the disease because of the 1989 detention of an HIV-positive Dutchman. Hans Paul Verhoef was imprisoned on landing at Minneapolis-St Paul international airport for not declaring he was HIV-positive when immigration officials found the antiretroviral drug AZT in his luggage.President Barack Obama, who completed a repeal process begun by George W. Bush, called the policy “a decision rooted in fear rather than fact”.