INS vs. HIV


Due to a stream of consciousness too long to describe I was reminded of an on-going beef I have had with the American policy on visits, not just immigration, by persons with HIV.

I was pleased, however, to find that I am not just a lone voice crying – or smiling, as is the case in the picture – in the Canadian wilderness (Toronto’s waterfront); that there are activists, in the United States, working on this. Read about Ken’s (not Kenn’s) experience here.

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There are far greater concerns, surely, for border security agents to worry about than whether the inside pocket of a back-pack holds the anti-retroviral medications someone needs to keep AIDS-related illnesses at bay while visiting. I kid you not . When I crossed into the States in May, 2001 (pre-9/11, sure) it was all I could do to control my ‘bio movements’ when a border guard opened my suitcase, and then my backpack, but didn’t look in its side pocket which held enough pills for what would turn out to be an unforgettable, five day Memorial Day week – yes that is also “Fleet Week” 🙂 – visit to the Big Apple.

One would think that American cities would be lining up to host AIDS conferences such as we held in Toronto this past August.

America, please remove this stigmatizing travel restriction or, to turn a phrase of Reagan’s, “tear down this wall!”

I suppose this confession automatically puts me on a ‘watch list’. 🙂

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