October 21, 2013
Geneva -- The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) welcomes the recent lifting of all restrictions on entry, stay and residence for people living with HIV in Uzbekistan. The reforms were passed by Parliament in August of 2013 and signed by the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, on 23 September 2013.
"I welcome this important milestone in Uzbekistan and I hope this will encourage other countries to take similar action towards a world with zero HIV-related stigma and discrimination," said the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé.
UNAIDS advocates for the right to equal freedom of movement -- regardless of HIV status. There is no evidence that restrictions on the entry, stay or residence of people living with HIV protect the public's health.
As part of its on-going dialogue with countries on this issue, in July 2013, UNAIDS sent official communications to all countries, territories and areas that appeared to have HIV-related entry, stay and residence restrictions. Through this exercise, new information was received from Andorra and the Slovak Republic, indicating that there are no HIV-related restrictions in these countries.
With the removal of Uzbekistan's restrictions, and confirmation that there are no restrictions in Andorra and Slovakia -- UNAIDS counts 41 countries, territories, and areas that impose some form of restriction on the entry, stay and residence based on HIV status. These include: Aruba, Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Russian Federation, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Chinese Taipei, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.