UNAIDS, International Organization for Migration Call for End to Restrictions on Travel for HIV-Positive People
June 15, 2004
UNAIDS and the International Organization for Migration have have called on 60 nations -- including the United States -- to end their policies requiring mandatory HIV testing to prevent HIV-positive people from entering the countries, VOA News reports. In addition to the United States, Russia and many Arab countries have mandatory HIV testing policies, some of which require tests even for short-term visitors, including business people or tourists. IOM HIV/AIDS Coordinator Mary Haour-Knipe said there is "no public health justification" for the policies, which "ad[d] to the climate of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV." Stigma in turn "drives the disease underground" and prevents people from seeking testing and treatment, Haour-Knipe said, according to VOA News. In addition, imposing restrictions on the entry of foreign HIV-positive people gives the appearance that the disease is a foreign problem that can be controlled with border restrictions, Haour-Knipe said, VOA News reports (Schlein, VOA News, 6/12).
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