WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AHF today decried statements from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) that it is using HIV status as a basis to separate families attempting to enter the U.S. at its southern border. According to the Washington Blade, CBP chief of law enforcement operations Brian Hastings said at a July 25 U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing in an exchange with U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) that the CBP is using HIV as a rationale to separate families.
However, since January 4, 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that HIV isn’t a communicable disease of public health significance.
AHF calls on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who oversees CBP, to clarify the department’s own policy which states that “ … having HIV infection will no longer make a foreign national inadmissible to the United States.”
“HIV stigma is deadly,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “Separating children from their families is outrageous enough. But to use HIV as a basis for separation further stigmatizes and traumatizes people living with HIV who need to stay in care and get access to life-saving medicines. We call on the U.S. government to immediately halt family separations based on HIV status.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.2 million people in 43 countries worldwide in the U.S., Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.