Date Published: 4 January 2010

Lifting of ban on foreign nationals with HIV entering the USA

The Terrence Higgins Trust has today welcomed the final lifting of the US entry ban on people with HIV.

On January 4th the ban on foreign nationals with HIV entering the USA will be lifted. The ban has been in place since 1987. President Obama described the 22-year-old policy as a "decision rooted in fear rather than fact.”

Lisa Power, Head of Policy at Terrence Higgins Trust said

" It's ridiculous that for over 20 years people living with HIV were banned from entering the US simply because of a medical condition. Removing the ban is long overdue and we congratulate the US Government on seeing economic and medical sense. Terrence Higgins Trust and many others have campaigned against the ban since it was introduced. Blanket entry bans have no justification on public health grounds and only increase stigma. We hope other countries with similar bans in place will now remove them too."

Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) was part of the UNAIDS International Task Force on Travel Restrictions, which was a crucial element in international lobbying on this issue. THT staff living with HIV have, in the past, been refused entry to the US because of the ban. In 2012 the World AIDS Conference is to be held in the USA after many years absence, in recognition of the lifting of the ban.

People living with HIV who would like further information on their right to travel internationally can contact THT Direct on 0845 1221 200 from 10am to 10pm weekdays and from 12pm to 6pm weekends (Note: UK telephone number and opening hours), or email

Source: Terrence Higgins Trust (THT)

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