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travel to overseas

Mar 26, 2010

Dear Dr Bob, I will be travelling to overseas in a month time. As i am currently under HAART medication , i was worry that the immigration will ask about the medicines that i will bring together. I will be in overseas for about 3 months for work and i will bring a whole lotta medicines with me.I am not ready to disclose my status to anyone just yet. One of the medicine is stocrin which will cause probable positive result of cannabinoid if they do urine test.I need your advise on how could i bring my medicine together without disclosing my status?...Thanks in advance for your advise.

Response from Dr. Frascino


You didn't mention exactly where you would be traveling, but there are only a few countries that still have HIV travel bans. Obama finally lifted the HIV travel ban for the U.S.! Yay Obama! The U.S. was the last and only major industrialized nation to have such a ban. (See below.) I doubt you'll have any difficulty whatsoever. You do not need to disclose your HIV status or hide your medications.

Be well. Safe travels!

Dr. Bob

Travelling to the USA with HIV Mar 11, 2010

Hi, I have been offered to go on a holiday to Florida in 6 months time and am unsure of the law regarding HIV. I have been on the US embassy site whish states i would require a visa as i have HIV. I have also read on this site that the ban has been lifted for HIV travellers to the USA and would not require a visa. Which should i believe? as this is very confusing to myself.

J. Scotland

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi J. from Scotland,

The ban has indeed been lifted. Yeah Obama! See below.

Dr. Bob

HIV TRAVEL BAN Nov 1, 2009

Hey Dr. Bob,

What's up with the HIV travel ban? Didn't Obama promise to get that cancelled???

Flying Monkey

Response from Dr. Frascino


Obama promised and Obama delivered! The 22-year ban on travel to the U.S. by HIVers was abolished by Obama yesterday (10/30/09) and will go into effect after a routine 60-day waiting period. The unscientific discriminatory travel ban was the handiwork of hateful Republican Senator Jesse Helms who singlehandedly set HIV/AIDS awareness, education and prevention back by decades. The ban's repeal was spearheaded by Senator John Kerry and other Democrats. Once again, it's important to note elections do matter!

I'll post some information below from the New York Times that discusses the repeal of the travel ban.

Dr. Bob

Obama Lifts a Ban on Entry Into U.S. by H.I.V.-Positive People October 31, 2009

By JULIA PRESTON, New York Times

President Obama on Friday announced the end of a 22-year ban on travel to the United States by people who had tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS, fulfilling a promise he made to gay advocates and acting to eliminate a restriction he said was "rooted in fear rather than fact."

At a White House ceremony, Mr. Obama announced that a rule canceling the ban would be published on Monday and would take effect after a routine 60-day waiting period. The president had promised to end the ban before the end of the year.

"If we want to be a global leader in combating H.I.V./AIDS, we need to act like it," Mr. Obama said. "Now, we talk about reducing the stigma of this disease, yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat."

The United States is one of only about a dozen countries that bar people who have H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

President George W. Bush started the process last year when he signed legislation, passed by Congress in July 2008, that repealed the statute on which the ban was based. But the ban remained in effect.

It was enacted in 1987 at a time of widespread fear that H.I.V. could be transmitted by physical or respiratory contact. The ban was further strengthened by Congress in 1993 as an amendment offered by Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina.

Because of the restriction, no major international conference on the AIDS epidemic has been held in the United States since 1990. Public health officials here have long said there was no scientific or medical basis for the ban.

Under the ban, United States health authorities have been required to list H.I.V. infection as a "communicable disease of public health significance." Under immigration law, most foreigners with such a disease cannot travel to the United States. The ban covered both visiting tourists and foreigners seeking to live in this country.

Once the ban is lifted, foreigners applying to become residents in the United States will no longer be required to take a test for AIDS.

In practice, the ban particularly affected tourists and gay men. Waivers were available, but the procedure for tourists and other short-term visitors who were H.I.V. positive was so complicated that many concluded it was not worth it.

For foreigners hoping to immigrate, waivers were available for people who were in a heterosexual marriage, but not for gay couples. Gay advocates said the ban had led to painful separations in families with H.I.V.-positive members that came to live in this country, and had discouraged adoptions of children with the virus.

Gay advocates said the ban also discouraged travelers and some foreigners already living in the United States from seeking testing and medical care for H.I.V. infection.

"The connection between immigration and H.I.V. has frightened people away from testing and treatment," said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality, a group that advocates for gay people in immigration matters. She said lifting the ban would bring "a significant public health improvement."

"Stigma and exclusion are not a sound basis for immigration policy," Ms. Tiven said.

Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, who led the effort to repeal the ban, said it had now "gone the way of the dinosaur."

But, Mr. Kerry added, "it sure took too long to get here."

International health officials said lifting the ban would end a much-criticized inconsistency in United States health policy, with Washington playing a leading role in AIDS prevention in Africa and other countries with severe epidemics, but preserving restrictions that in practice prevented international AIDS researchers and activists from gathering at conferences here.

In 1989, a Dutch AIDS educator, Hans Verhoef, was detained for several days in St. Paul when he tried to attend a conference. Since then, people involved with AIDS issues have not organized meetings here.

"We think this is going to give a very positive image of where the United States is going in terms of eliminating stigma and discrimination in relation to H.I.V.," Dr. Socorro Gross, assistant director of the Pan American Health Organization, said Friday.

Do any of these medications affect STD results.
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