US HIV travel ban has now ended

Michael Carter
Published: 04 January 2010

HIV-positive individuals can legally visit and migrate to the US from today.

President Obama announced the end of the ban at the end of October 2009, but there was a 60-day waiting period before this finally came into effect.

Introduced early in the HIV pandemic, the US travel ban prevented visits to the US by people with HIV except in exceptional circumstances. Although it was widely flouted, individuals with HIV who were detected by US immigration staff were refused entry to the country and deported.

Moves to remove the ban were initiated during the Bush administration when the US Congress voted for its repeal.

Following the removal of the ban, the International AIDS Society confirmed that the 2012 International AIDS Conference will be held in Washington DC. The US capital has an HIV prevalence of 3% - the threshold for a severe, generalised epidemic is 1%.

HIV-positive UK passport holders who wish to visit the US will now be able to do so by completing the green 'visa waiver' form that allows routine entry to the US.

HIV has also ceased to be a bar for migration to the US.

The South Korean government has also announced that entry restrictions on the basis of HIV status have been lifted, effective from January 1st.

A list of countries and their entry policies for people with HIV can be read here.