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Reged: 05/06/05
Posts: 924
Loc: Los Angeles
Entry into the US if HIV+
      #178792 - 03/07/06 09:25 PM

Amazingly, there is something that prevents people who self-disclose their HIV status from entering the US. I have never been asked this question since I hold both US and British passports and have a French work permit. So who am I to talk?

What is the HIV Ban?
In 1993 Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to statutorily designate HIV a “communicable disease of public health significance.” Any foreign national applying for legal permanent residence (a “green card”) in the U.S. must undergo a medical examination which includes an HIV test. If the applicant tests positive, her/his application for legal permanent residence will be denied, unless s/he qualifies for an HIV waiver. Foreign nationals who seek to visit the U.S. temporarily (as a tourist; student; or temporary worker) do not undergo a medical examination. Each entrant is asked, however, whether or not s/he has a “communicable disease of public health significance.” If s/he answers this question “yes,” s/he will be denied admission to the U.S. unless s/he qualified for an HIV waiver.

Is there any way to enter the U.S. if a person is HIV positive?
YES. An HIV positive foreign national may enter the U.S. by obtaining special permission, or a “waiver” of the HIV ban. The requirements for an HIV waiver differ based on whether the applicant is seeking permanent admission to the U.S. (a “green card”) or temporary permission to visit the U.S.

What are the types of waivers available for non-immigrant (Temporary) Visas? There are two types of waivers for applicants seeking non-immigrant visas. Foreign nationals coming to the U.S. for the Gay Games would probably enter under the “Designated Event” waiver.

Routine HIV Waivers:

Routine waivers are available for a maximum of thirty (30) days. This means that there is no HIV waiver available for long-term non-immigrant visas such as student visas, or H1B skilled worker visas.

An HIV positive non-immigrant can apply for a “routine” HIV waiver based on humanitarian reasons. Reasons which the U.S. considers humanitarian include: to attend a conference, receive medical treatment, visit close family members or conduct business.

A “routine waiver” applicant must demonstrate:

S/he is not currently symptomatic;
the proposed visit to the U.S. is for 30 days or fewer;
the person has sufficient assets such as insurance to cover and medical care that might be required while in the U.S. and
the person will not pose a danger to public health in the U.S.

Designated Event Waivers:

The Attorney General may authorize blanket waivers for all foreign nationals seeking to enter the U.S. to participate in a “designated event,” if such event is deemed in the public interest. The waiver is granted for a maximum of ten (10) days.

In the past, international sports event (such as the Gay Games) and many educational conferences have qualified for blanket waivers. Chicago Games, Inc., is working to secure a Designated Event Waiver for Gay Games VII.
To be eligible for this blanket waiver an applicant must:
Seek entry only for the duration of the designated event;
disclose that s/he is HIV positive on her/his visa application. New Information: We await confirmation, but we believe that when seeking entry for a "designated event" that you will NOT be required to disclose your actual medical condition. We will keep you posted and update this fact sheet as appropriate.

Standing practice is that the visa and waiver are placed on a special form stapled into the applicant's passport so that there is no permanent record in the passport. In addition, if the blanket waiver citation is on that form, Inspectors at the port-of-entry are not allowed to query the person as to their health status.

New Information as of June 2005: We have learned that under standard policy, immigration officials are not to ask the HIV status of that person entering the USA under a "designated event" waiver. As a result, the person's HIV status will not appear on USA immigration records and affect future entries into the USA. This is the "routine" policy used in the past. This is being incorporated into Chicago's application for "designated event status." Will keep you updated as more details are available.
Other information:
There is no HIV waiver available for long-term non-immigrant visas such as student visas or work visas.

Although they are called “routine,” it is not that easy to obtain an HIV waiver as a non-immigrant visitor.
HIV waivers for legal permanent resident applications are only available to applicants with U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident immediate relatives (opposite sex spouses; children; or U.S. citizen parents, if the applicant is unmarried); or those who have been granted political asylum or refugee status; or those who have been victims of domestic violence by their U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent.

For more information about the requirements for obtaining an HIV waiver as a legal permanent resident, please see Immigration Equality’s website,, or contact Immigration Equality at

Can Non-US Citizens get any medical aid from the government while in the U.S.?
The only government aid that is available to foreign nationals without permanent legal status in the U.S. is Emergency Medicaid. If you have an acute or life-threatening injury or illness, you can visit a hospital emergency room, and your health must be stabilized regardless of your ability to pay.
Some states allow individuals with HIV to obtain HIV-related primary health care and HIV medication through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.
Chicago Games, Inc., will provide some health, safety and medical services to Gay Games VII participants through medical professionals and with the assistance of local LGBT/AIDS health service organizations. Contact us at if you have specific questions.

Life is a river.
Carpe diem.

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Reged: 02/28/06
Posts: 369
Re: Entry into the US if HIV+ new
      #178824 - 03/08/06 12:43 AM

you have got to be kidding.

HIV is a part of me, but it does not define me!!!

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Re: Entry into the US if HIV+ new
      #178846 - 03/08/06 03:08 AM

I know it is true because my country everyonw has to take an HIV test before the enter the US. If it is positive you cannot come in the the US. It happened to a lot of women or men who went back to the country to marry a lover who they did not know was positive and later the counsulat would tell the person living in the US that your wife or husband cannot come in. it up the partner to tell the person in the US which they almost never tell the true. A friend of my mother went to marry this one guy and the guy could not come in to the US he kept making excusses that they needed more paperwork. He finally came in on a decolage which when you use someone else passport and have them put you picture on it. About six month later the lady kept have a cold and fever and get really sick. The family thought it was because she lived in a basement and because it always colder there that she could never ride of the cold and when she went to the doctor with her mother she findout she was positive. Then did the realized that that's the reason the guy could not enter the country because he was positive.

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Reged: 01/25/06
Posts: 67
Loc: MD
Re: Entry into the US if HIV+ new
      #178858 - 03/08/06 04:29 AM

My husband and I are dealing with this very issue. We found out about our status after he went for his medical. We are just now working out all the paper work and the hoop jumping. I don't know what immigration will say. Can they send my husband back to Africa? He was negative three years ago when he entered this country. He is so afraid of becoming a burden to me. I try to reassure him that no matter what he is my husband and will never be a burden. Please keep us in your prayers.

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Re: Entry into the US if HIV+ new
      #179076 - 03/09/06 06:41 PM

What about the opposite situation? Are there countries that an American citizen with a US passport wouldn't be able to visit if they are HIV pos?
I just found out in December but have had a passport for a year. Are my traveling options limited now?

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