Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Happy New Year!

This year sucked for so many people and may the year ahead be much, much better. For me, I hope that positive aspects of 2009 continue. As the first year of my adult life when I haven't contemplated suicide, I think I have to hold 2009 in some sort of esteem.

Now, what does bring tears to my eyes [and by that I mean cry my eyes out in disbelief and happiness] about 2010 is that finally, FINALLY, the U.S has lifted the travel ban on HIV-positive individuals. This ban has been in place for 22 years. It was placed by Ronald Reagan (but in fairness, everyone was terrified of 'AIDS' then, and didn't know much about it), yet remained all these years, even when medical evidence showed that the ban did no use in preventing HIV, even during the reign of the supposedly progressive Clinton. Finally under Dubya the ban began to be lifted, and now under Obama, it will be a thing of the past (or lifted yesterday, I couldn't quite determine if it was the 4th or 11th that it would be removed).

Anyhoo... my friends can now travel to the States if they wish, or even pass through on connecting flights and not live in fear of their meds being discovered and going on a no-fly list. Or worse, of leaving their meds at home for week-end trips and risking becoming drug-resistant to life-saving meds. The travel ban was the reason that the biannual International AIDS Conference has not been held in all those years in the US. The next one after this year's one will be though.*

So despite many challenges still remaining for people living with HIV, this is one less.

And that my friends makes me pretty damn happy. I will be even happier when a cure is found and I won't have to ride my bike 600 damn painful kilometres to raise money for the cause.

*It kind of makes me vomit that the US gets to hold the conference the second it finally shows some humanity but whatever. There are all sorts of fantastic HIV docs, researchers, and organizations in the US who have pioneered so many advances in HIV treatment and policy so I'll take the 'woot! let's celebrate' side instead. Not to mention that two of the three times the prestigious conference has been held in Canada the Prime Minister of Canada couldn't be bothered to show up...


Susan as herself said...

I heard about the travel ban being lifted earlier today. HALLELUJAH. it was WAY outdated (to say the least) and the fact that it was based on fear and panic always bugged me... Well, one small step. One very small step... which I hope turns into a very good journey of progress.

eroswings said...

That is good news.

Rox said...

I read about the ban being lifted awhile back, I'm glad to see it's finally becoming a reality. It's sad what ignorance does.