The Immigration and Nationality Act (Sec. 212) restricts people with HIV from entering the U.S., requiring a waiver for a short-term visa for a specific purpose. Applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis, which can be cumbersome and time-consuming, said Kimberly Stietz, director of internationalpublic policy, ELCA Washington Office.
Stietz said the policy is based on concerns from 20 years ago, when information about HIV transmission was lacking.
“The ELCA has faced severe challenges in bringing HIV-positive partners to the U.S. for conferences, including [a 2007] HIV/AIDS strategy meeting,” Stietz said.
“The law must be changed,” she added. “We urge Lutherans to contact their members of Congress in support of H.R. 3337, the HIV Nondiscrimination in Travel and Immigration Act of 2007.”
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