Guide to international entry restrictions for people with HIV published

Michael Carter
Published: 27 July 2006

German and Swiss HIV activists have developed a guide for HIV-positive travellers, providing details of the entry restrictions which some countries place on HIV-positive individuals. Written and researched by Karl Lemmen and Peter Wiessner from the German AIDS Federation and David Haerry of AIDS Info Docu Schweiz, the guide is called Quick Reference: Travel and Residence Regulations for People with HIV and AIDS 2005. It can accessed on the website of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), here.

Restrictions on entry and residence for HIV-positive individuals differ between countries and can change quickly and with very little notice, and the latest edition of this quick reference guide has been updated to reflect recent changes. It draws on official information provided by embassies as well as that gleaned from the first-hand experiences of HIV-positive travellers. There is a large section on travel to the US, which is one of the few countries (along with Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, and Iraq) that forbids entry to people with HIV for even short stays. The guide explains the circumstances in which HIV-positive individuals can obtain a special visa waiver allowing them to legally travel to the US. However, as the authors recognise, many HIV-positive people travel to the US without declaring their health status, and the authors explain the possible consequences of this and some of the steps that HIV-positive people take to circumvent US immigration law. The authors stress that such behaviour is illegal and could lead to deportation and future ineligibility for entry to the US.

NAM recently updated a brief summary of the individual restrictions which countries place on entry and residence for foreigners with HIV. It is included in the updated edition of Living with HIV and can be read here.

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