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Namibia will lift Travel Restrictions for People living with HIV

9 April 2009 - Amsterdam - The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) wishes to inform people living with HIV intending to attend the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting in Namibia about the Namibian Government's decision to lift travel restrictions for people living with HIV.

GNP+ congratulates the Namibian Government with this important decision and fully supports its stated commitment to a human rights based response to HIV and AIDS in which discrimination on the basis of HIV status is outlawed.

The 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting will take place in Windhoek, Namibia from 10 to 14 June. The Meeting gathers HIV programme implementers to share best practices and lessons learned in the HIV response. GNP+ as a co-sponsor of the conference actively advocates for civil society, including people living with HIV, to be involved in the conference, which will be greatly facilitated by the lifting of the HIV related travel restrictions.

At the highest political level the Namibian government has outlined a process to eliminate the current restrictions on entry, stay and residence for people living with HIV. The Namibian Government has issued a visa waiver for all participants in the meeting as an immediate short term solution and will urgently begin the process of removing all HIV related restrictions to entry, stay and residence from the Immigration Control Regulations. Assurances have been given by the Namibian Government that no participant in the conference will be required to disclose their HIV-serological status and GNP+ calls for all those who wish to attend the meeting not to fill out the offending question.

GNP+, UNAIDS and The Global Fund intend to follow up before, during and after the Implementers' Meeting to ensure that the waiver is applied successfully and that the commitments made by His Excellency Prime Minister Nahas Angula of Namibia are honoured.

END

Notes: The 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers Meeting is organized by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), along with the Government of Namibia; The Global Fund; UNAIDS; UNICEF; the World Bank; WHO; and GNP+. The Meeting will take place in Windhoek, Namibia from 10 to 14 June 2009. The conference theme is "Optimizing the response: Partners for sustainability". You can register to participate in the conference through the website www.hivimplementers.org. Please note open enrollment registration for participants closes on 13 April. Registration for Presenters closes on 27 April.


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