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Despite New Law, HIV-Positive Travelers Still Banned from Entering U.S.

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Even though President Bush signed a bill in July that ended a 15-year ban on international travelers with HIV from entering the United States, nothing has changed, the Associated Press reports.

The law Bush signed was a $48 billion bill to combat AIDS (the disease caused by HIV), tuberculosis and malaria, the wire service says, and in that law was a provision that ended the ban on HIV-positive travelers entering the United States.

So far, however the, department of Health and Human Services hasn't written the new rule that needs to be adopted to cause the new law to go into effect. A number of U.S. legislators and representatives from gay organizations have been lobbying HHS to act quickly.

"We're working hard to revise the regulation and it's our goal to have it completed during this administration," HHS spokeswoman Holly Babin told the A.P. She added that it was "a time-consuming process and we are giving it the attention it deserves in an effort to anticipate all issues and get it right."

The travel ban hasn't been limited to HIV-positive travelers. A report last week from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 33 would-be air travelers with suspected or confirmed infectious tuberculosis were placed on the U.S. government's public health "Do Not Board" list in the first year of its existence.

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