The United States opened its borders to HIV-positive visitors today, ending a 22-year ban.
Canadian Martin Rooney marked the day by making a trip across the border to Washington state. Rooney was denied entry to the US in 2007 because he is HIV-positive.
"I still remember the fear that was instilled in me when I was pulled
over and refused entry [in 2007],” Rooney told members of his Facebook group. “I
was interrogated, treated like a terrorist… photographed,
finger-printed and run through the FBI most wanted list all because I
was supposed to know that I had to carry a medical waiver as a person
who was HIV-positive to enter the US, even if only for a shopping trip
expected to last no longer than three hours.”
Rooney organized protests against the ban, including this event in Aug 2009:
Read more about the US HIV travel ban on Xtra.ca:
- Obama announces end of HIV travel ban
- US HIV travel ban on the way out, albeit slowly
- ’Please Mr Obama, lift this ban now’: Rooney