U.S. Visa for Foreign Student With HIV

Question

Hi! I was accepted in graduate school program in the US but I have HIV. I will be applying for a student visa soon. Do I need to declare my HIV status in the online application form? Do the embassy have a way of detecting it even if I don't declare this status? How about my meds? Is it okay to place them inside my carry-on luggage? Will there be a problem doing that? what else do I need to know about this situation?

Answer

Congratulations on your admission to graduate school. Because of President Obama's 2009 repeal of the HIV entry ban, as of January 2010 the U.S. no longer denies entry to any visitors based on HIV status. As part of the repeal, HIV was removed from the CDC's list of "communicable diseases of public health significance."

Entry to the U.S. is still denied to visitors who have a disease on the list, such as active tuberculosis, infectious syphilis, gonorrhea, infectious leprosy. Visitors must undergo a visa-related medical examination, but it will not include an HIV test.

You may answer no to the visa application question, "Have you ever been afflicted with a communicable disease of public health significance or a dangerous physical or mental disorder, or ever been a drug user or addict?" if HIV would have been the sole reason to answer yes.

Since HIV is no longer on the communicable diseases list, you don't have to worry about traveling with your meds. Keep them in their original containers for easy identification. As with all meds, it's best to pack them in your carry-on luggage.

Good luck with your studies.