WASHINGTON (AP) -- A two-decade ban on people with HIV visiting or immigrating to the United States may end soon through a Senate bill aimed at fighting AIDS and other diseases in Africa and other poor areas of the world. Visitors with HIV can apply for a difficult-to-obtain special waiver for short-term visits to the U.S. The U.S. is one of a dozen countries -- including Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Russia -- that ban travel and immigration for HIV-positive people. Even China, said Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, recently changed that policy, deciding it was "time to move beyond an antiquated, knee-jerk reaction" to people with HIV. "There's no excuse for a law that stigmatizes a particular disease," Kerry said Tuesday at a speech to the Center for Strategic & International Studies HIV/AIDS Task Force. Even people with avian flu or the Ebola virus have an easier time than those with HIV when it come to applying for visas, he said. Kerry and Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Oregon, are trying to repeal the ban, first implemented in 1987 and confirmed by Congress in 1993. More at link: http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/07/16/hiv.travelers.ap/index.html Whaaa? In my defense, I was in high school in 1987 and well-indoctrinated by a fundamentalist church, but I had no idea that the US had a law banning HIV positive people from coming here. Somehow, it just seems un-American. While little was known about the disease in 1987, I would have thought that as the CDC did research in the 1990's this would have been repealed instead of confirmed in 1993. I'll bet the Westboro (?) church in Kansas will be lobbying to have the ban kept in place.