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entering the usa with HIV MEDICATIONS???
Mar 25, 2005

Dear doctor, We would like to visit your country but we read that for tourists with HIV medications in their luguage they can be send back to Europe because american immigration would NOT allow tourists with HIV medications in their bags??? Is this true and is SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT easier to enter because it is a gay city , we would love to come to the USA but we don't want to send back as criminals just only because we are hiv poz. Thanks a lot for the information and you are right, BUSH IS TERRIBLE!!! Friendly greetings from Europe.

Response from Dr. Frascino


You are correct. The heinous HIV travel and immigration ban was codified into law as part of the NIH's reauthorization act of 1993. The ban was actually in place long before that. In fact, it was the cause of the massive boycott of the Sixth International Conference on AIDS in San Francisco in 1990. And it was this very policy that caused the 1992 International AIDS Conference to be moved form Boston to Amsterdam. To this date, and until the ban is lifted, the organizers of the International Conference on AIDS have refused to hold their meeting within the U.S.

So what about your travel plans to Bushworld? Although pozitoids cannot legally enter the U.S. unless they obtain special permission from the U.S. embassy before traveling, in reality many have, and the vast majority continues to do so without any consequences. Technically, if you are HIV positive and enter the U.S. without permission, you are in breach of U.S. immigration law and could be deported. Yes, it's true, if you are traveling with medication, then this might be found if your luggage is searched. Some folks have sent their medications ahead of them, but as it turns out, this is illegal as well. It is also a bit risky, since a mail delay could leave you here without your medications.

Is the San Francisco Airport easier? I really can't answer that. But I can certainly say San Francisco should definitely be on your itinerary, as it's my favorite city in the world.

I'm hopeful someday people will eventually come to their senses, abolish this discriminatory and scientifically unsound law and boot Bush's butt back to Crawford, Texas.

Dr. Bob

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