On July 16, 2008, President Bush signed into law the U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act. The bill includes a provision that repeals the HIV travel/immigration ban by amending the current health-related ground of inadmissibility in the Immigration and Nationality Act to exclude any reference to HIV. The travel ban was originally approved in 1993 and has been viewed as a vestige of the hysteria that surrounded the initial public awareness of HIV. The new law returns the authority to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to determine whether individuals with HIV should be permitted to travel to the U.S.
While the new law eliminates the unfair discrimination against foreign nationals with HIV, it does not repeal the ground of inadmissibility for people who are HIV positive. The Immigration and Nationality Act renders inadmissible any individual "who is determined (in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services) to have a communicable disease of public health significance." HIV remains among those diseases on the DHHS list of communicable diseases of public health significance. Until HIV is taken off the list by DHHS, HIV positive foreign nationals continue to remain inadmissible to the U.S., and must obtain a waiver of inadmissibility in order to enter the United States or obtain approval of adjustment of status.