Today a Satellite Session organized by UNAIDS and Republic of Korea, at the AIDS 2012 conference in Washington, D.C. from 9-11am in Miniroom 7, will discuss the latest developments and challenges of HIV travel restrictions around the world.
Besides being discriminatory, travel restrictions have no public health justification. Often they open the door to additional forms of abuse including violation of the human rights of people living with HIV and an increase in stigma. HIV should not be considered a condition that poses a threat to public health in relation to travel because, although it is transmissible, HIV cannot be transmitted by the mere presence of a person with HIV in a country or by casual contact. Objectives of the Satellite Session: Key figures from governments, the medical field and civil society, including people living with HIV, will discuss and respond to the current situation regarding HIV-related travel restrictions. The Satellite Session HIV Travel Restrictions: Latest Developments will present an open discussion about HIV travel restrictions, highlighting their public health and human rights’ impact. The session will provide global, regional and national perspectives on such restrictions, focusing among others on presenting: An overview of the global situation Current efforts to remove HIV travel restrictions in the Republic of Korea A testimonial of someone who has experienced HIV travel restrictions The experience of removing HIV travel restrictions The impact of HIV travel restrictions in the Gulf States on migrant workers from Asia Call for action: In line with commitments made in the 2011 Political Declaration, the Satellite Session will call on governments to remove HIV-related travel restrictions and ensure that an effective and rights-based approach to HIV is in place in all countries. IAS President Dr Elly Katabira, Professor of Medicine at Makerere University in Uganda, said "The return of the conference to the United States is the result of years of dedicated advocacy to end a misguided policy based on fear, rather than science, and represents a significant victory for public health and human rights." Dr Katabira is the International Chair of AIDS 2012.