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Immigration laws in the USA relating to HIV

Oct 19, 1999

Dear Sowadsky,

If a non US citizen living in USA with visa and work permission takes an HIV test in US and then baad enogh should test positive can the person alos be forced to leave US based on the HIV status?

Second if a person needs to extend the US work permission can a recent HIV positive result result in that the work permission not will be extenden (assuming the person is doing a great job.)

And also if a non US citizen test positive and then goes to a HIV specialist for treatment is the person protected by the rules of confidentiality like US citizen ?

Yours Sincerely

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question. First of all, in the United States, confidentiality laws regarding HIV, and any other medical information, applies to anyone, regardless of a persons immigration status. Laws at both the federal and state levels strictly determine who has (and more importantly, who does not have) access to a persons medical information.

In regard to your other questions, the ability to stay in the United States after testing HIV positive varies from situation to situation. For example, the ability to stay in the USA can depend upon a persons personal health status, as well as their immigration status (are they in the United States short-term or long term, what type of visa do they have, are they in the USA legally, are they a resident alien, etc.). In the USA, to determine how a positive HIV status would apply to your specific immigration status, contact your local Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) office. I also suggest that you read the HIV/AIDS and Immigration page here at The Body.

Let me also point out that for other countries, laws regarding immigration and HIV status can vary significantly from one country to another. If you are HIV positive, and/or if you plan to spend time in another country (especially if you plan to stay long-term), contact the closest consulate or embassy for that country, in order to find out the specific requirements for staying in that country. Immigration laws regarding HIV for any country are subject to change at any time.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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