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Sarah welcomes Senate vote on HIV

July 21, 2008 5:41 PM

The US senate has voted in favour of ending the effective ban on travel to the US for HIV-positive persons. This decision enables US authorities to lift the restrictions although it is clear whether action will be taken under the Bush or the next presidency. Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford has led a campaign to include the abolition of HIV/Aids discrimination as a principal goal in EU visa negotiations with the US. This culminated in EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot writing to US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff challenging the justification for the US policy.

Sarah Ludford said: "As a campaigner on this issue I'm delighted that the Senate's ruling has cleared the way the end to this discriminatory, unjustified and out-dated policy, though not a moment too soon. I'm gratified that EU pressure led by Euro-MPs has contributed to this outcome."

"The Bush administration should act quickly now to restore visa waiver rights to individuals with HIV/AIDS and stop treating them as second class citizens."