July 26, 2019 – NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata has released the following statement on the revelation that the Border Patrol is separating children from parents living with HIV at the southern border.
“CBP’s decision to separate children based on their parents HIV status is wrong on multiple levels.”
“To start, HIV was removed as a ‘communicable disease’ to ban non-citizens from entering the U.S. nearly a decade ago. HIV can only be passed through vaginal or anal sex or injection drug use. These men and women are no risk to anyone they come into casual contact with.”
“Second, separating people living with HIV from their only support system is disastrous for their health, particularly in stressful and unstable conditions. This separation from their children could drastically impact their health.”
“Finally, we have serious concerns that those in custody living with HIV will receive the medical care they need. Long interruptions in care will endanger their health and their life.”
“NMAC calls on CBP to stop family separations based on HIV status and ensure that anyone in their custody living with HIV receive needed care.”
NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.