NEW UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES
UNPRODUCTIVE AND DISCRIMINATORY AGAINST
PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV
June 9, 2009 - (Amsterdam/Washington, D.C.) - The Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+) and its partner organization, the Global Network of People
Living with HIV/AIDS - North America (GNP+NA), are disappointed that the
Government of the United States has not been able to resolve the change
in policy regarding entry restrictions for people living with HIV.
Despite the US President signing into effect in July 2008 a bill repealing the
immigration laws barring people living with HIV and assurances that the
Department of Homeland Security would introduce improved ("streamlined")
regulations regarding short-term visas for HIV-positive visitors, USCIS
regulations for people living with HIV to enter the US seem to have become more
GNP+ and GNP+NA are specifically concerned by the immigration procedure as
described by the US National AIDS Housing Coalition (NAHC) and the Canadian
Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) in their letters to US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton. These organizations received notice from the US embassy in
Ottawa, Canada, that as of June 1, 2009, Canadians living with HIV wishing to
enter the US have to go through a visa application procedure including a face to
face interview, where they have to declare they are HIV asymptomatic, have
received counseling on how to prevent HIV transmission, and agree to practice
safe sex, amongst other things.
GNP+ on several occasions has offered its assistance to the Government of the
United States to discuss and work on a resolution to the existing travel
restrictions, but has never been taken up on its offer.
GNP+ congratulated the United States last year on its move to decriminalize the
entry of people living with HIV into the country, and supported the notion that the
procedures around travel and entry of people living with HIV needs to change.
GNP+ has been working together with the US Office of the Global AIDS
Coordinator (OGAC) on the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers' Meeting, which is
taking place in Namibia from June 10 to June 14. One of the criteria for countries
hosting this meeting is that they must not have travel restrictions for people living
with HIV. GNP+ and OGAC in a joint effort successfully urged the Namibian
government to revise an outdated travel restriction law. GNP+ has in turn
expressed hope that the US government would itself address their own travel
GNP+ and GNP+NA urge the government of the United States to deliver on their
commitment to lift travel restrictions for people living with HIV and bring their
USCIS regulations in line with other countries that allow the free travel of people
living with HIV.
Source: Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)
For more information about this news release:
Please contact GNP+NA (Ted
Gaudet, Regional Coordinator GNP+ NA by phone +1-506-453 2644) or GNP+ (Martin
Stolk, Communications officer, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone +31-20-423
The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) is a global network for and by people
living with HIV. GNP+ advocates to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. The
central theme for the work of GNP+ is Reclaiming Our Lives! GNP+ programs are organized
under four platforms of action: Empowerment; HIV Prevention; Human Rights; and Sexual and
Reproductive Health and Rights. For more information, please visit www.gnpplus.net.
The Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS - North America (GNP+NA) is a North
American affiliate of GNP+, GNP+NA operates a unique bilateral organization providing North
American PLWHA's with opportunities to network, organize, and become part of a global
movement of PLWHA's. The mission of GNP+NA is to improve the quality of life of people living
with HIV/AIDS by creating and sustaining an active North American network of PLWHA's working
regionally to address the global pandemic.