• Photo for U.S. still shuts doors to HIV-positive visitors

U.S. still shuts doors to HIV-positive visitors

By RealJock Staff

Though HIV-positive athletes are allowed a waiver to enter the country for the Gay Games, the United States continues to enforce a ban on HIV-positive visitors.

The law was passed in the early days of HIV and, though many health officials agree it's outdated, it has yet to be overturned. The U.S. joins Saudi Arabia and Iran in banning visas to HIV-positive visitors.

"The ban serves absolutely no scientific purpose," Patricia Mail, president of the American Public Health Association, told the Times Sun-Sentinel. "Our country has a long record of discrimination [against gays] and this is just one more example. Because of the way it's transmitted, [HIV] simply poses no threat to public health."

Kevin Boyer, Gay Games organizer, estimates that only 50 of the 12,000 Gay Games athletes is HIV positive, though the question is not asked as part of the registration process.

"We simply do not ask the question," Boyer told the Times Sun-Sentinel.