Travelling (or not) with HIV
Quite a few times a year, I will have a patient walk in and tell me they have booked an overseas holiday.
The first thing I say is “where” and this is often followed by “I don’t think you can go there”.
Imagine that – being told you can’t travel to or through somewhere because of your HIV status, else risk being arrested in some place you don’t want to be arrested.
It is not uncommon that patients will have to make some change to their travel arrangements for fear of being arrested at an airport somewhere.
It was only in 2010 that the US lifted travel restrictions for people with HIV.
Eliminating travel restrictions for HIV infected persons is a goal of UNAIDS.
A good reference website is www.hivtravel.org followed up by directly contacting an embassy.
The are some places that are a real pain to navigate the potential risk of being caught, such as travelling through Dubai or staying for a few days.
Whilst an entry card may or may not ask HIV status, patients are often carrying bottles of medication which would disclose their status if discovered.
Certainly for non tourist stays, often more restrictions apply.
Whilst it remains a goal to achieve free travel passage, I imagine the countries holding on to their discriminatory laws will be resistant to change !