President lifts immigration ban on HIV patients

President Obama announced today the elimination of the HIV entry ban into the United States bringing hope and change to thousands of immigrants wanting entry into the United States.

Since 1987, HIV-positive travelers and immigrants have been banned from entering or traveling through the United States without a special waiver.

The ban has now ended.

At the dawn of government run healthcare licking at the pocketbooks of every American this new twist has been introduced by President Obama. In 2004 the average annual medical cost per HIV patient was $25,200.

People who have HIV and are not U.S. citizens will now be able to enter the U.S. for both travel and immigration reasons.

President Obama’s support for immigrants with HIV was evident in his support of the PEPFAR 2 bill when he was in the US Senate.

In an effort to protect the citizens of the United States the government had restricted entry of people with AIDS for the last 22 years.

Reason to restrict HIV infected immigrants was that HIV was considered to be a “communicable disease of public health significance.”

Another reason the United States government restricted HIV infected immigrants was because of the likely result the HIV infected person would become a public charge.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed to remove “Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection” from the definition of “communicable disease of public health significance.”

HHS/CDC also proposed removal references to “HIV” from the scope of examinations in its regulations that state:

Aliens infected with a “communicable disease of public health significance” are inadmissible into the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

According to HHS/CDC, in 2004 the average annual cost per HIV patient was $25,200 with a range of $19,466 to $30,954.

The expenditure estimates could be an underestimate since as treatment options increase, the benefits such as quality of life and lifespan will increase but so will costs.

Condiser the onward transmission from HIV-infected immigrants to others in the United States.

The costs associated with onward transmission include:

Shortened lifespan and reduction in quality of life even with treatment,

The health care costs associated with treating HIV infection,

The costs of social services when individuals are unable to fully support themselves because of their illness, and

Decreased productivity when individuals become too sick to work

A 1.51% onward transmission rate was used in the model to represent the annual estimated number of new infections caused by HIV-infected immigrants to the U.S., or caused by U.S. person infected by HIV-infected immigrants (i.e., annually every 100 HIV-infected persons infect an additional 1.51 persons). The most recent estimate of average onward transmission, when limited to sexual transmission, in the United States is 3.02 per 100 HIV positive immigrants.

In terms of health care expenditures for immigrants, by Year Five there will be a cumulative total of 15,755 HIV-infected immigrants living in the U.S.

Read the full report

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4 Responses to President lifts immigration ban on HIV patients

  1. rowright1 says:

    Uhmmm…. you pose a very good argument. However, why would I want someone (especially an immigrant) come to the United States infected with HIV?

    Isn’t the H1N1 virus enough?

    I do not see how this is good news. We still haven’t found a cure yet for HIV aids.

  2. You’re right. It’s awful news.

  3. meg says:

    Who will be paying for the care of these people, most insurance will not insure people with pre existing conditions, will this new health bill be strong enough to sustain coverage and cost for these individuals? Is there a cure that the public is not aware of? If they do become gainfully employed are they obligated to inform their employer of their condition. How do we know these people will be practicing safe sex? how do we know they will be honest enough to inform people they meet looking for an intimate relationship of their medical condition. Somebody needs to take a deeper look at this.

  4. There is still no cure for this disease.

    Endangering the US population by intentionally bringing HIV infected persons into our country is irresponsible both for our economy and our population.

    Findings which are backed up by the (unpublished) Soul City “Ten Countries” study, which found that having a main and a side partner are regarded as normative throughout East and Southern Africa. (President Obama’s African father practiced this social norm)

    There is no relationship between poverty and HIV status but rather the prevalence is higher in informal than formal settlements in south Africa

    The prevalence rates[of HIV] are 19.9%, 3.2% and 0.5% for 15- to 49-year-old Africans, coloureds and whites respectively.

    …when presenting our data showing higher concurrency rates are the most plausible reason for higher HIV rates among Africans and that this is driven more by cultural than socioeconomic factors, we have been accused of both “cultural essentialism” and racism.

    The HIV findings in Africa are being hushed. It’s a good editorial and well worth the time to read.

    http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-11-20-riding-hivs-superhighway

    Note: For 20 years Barack Obama was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. (Remember Rev. Wright?) In a ten point vision statement — point #4 states a congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.

    Notice it didn’t say “African Americans.”

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