Headaches for HIV-positive travellers

China recently became the latest country to
lift travel restrictions on people living with HIV, following in the footsteps
of the United States. "Every individual should have equal access to freedom of movement, regardless
of HIV status," UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé commented on China's

According to UNAIDS, 51 countries, territories and areas still impose
restrictions on the entry, stay and residence of HIV-positive people.
IRIN/PlusNews has listed some of the countries with particularly harsh

United Arab Emirates - An HIV test, performed in the UAE, is required when
applying for a residence visa or work permit. If the result is positive, the
person is detained and deported. In February 2009, local

Health Minister Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Quttami as saying that 627 people had
been deported from the UAE, based on their HIV status.

The Republic of Korea - South Korea was widely

  for lifting travel restrictions based on HIV status in January
2010, but a Ministry of Health

said re-entry could still be restricted for HIV-positive individuals deemed to be a
threat to public health.

Korean AIDS

said the Ministry of Labour has an administrative instruction that requires HIV
testing for all migrant workers registered under the foreign employment permit
system, but without the appropriate pre- and post-test counselling or safeguards
of confidentiality.

Qatar - All foreigners planning to travel or reside in Qatar for longer than
one month must undergo a medical examination and an HIV test in the country. In
2008, more than 100 foreigners who tested positive for HIV, tuberculosis (TB)
and hepatitis were


Russia - An HIV test is required for stays exceeding three months, or for
multiple entry visas. In 2008, 1,579 foreigners tested HIV-positive, most of
whom were reported to the migration authorities, and 198 were


Sudan - Immigration laws prohibit HIV-positive people from entering and/or
living in the country. Visa requirements include a negative HIV test result, to
be presented at a Sudanese embassy or Khartoum
airport. Anecdotal reports
suggest that these regulations are not always carried out in practice.

Singapore - No HIV test is required for tourist or business visa applications
of up to 30 days, but people intending to stay longer than one month, those
applying for social visit passes, employment passes, long-term immigration
passes and permanent residence, must have a medical examination, including TB
and HIV tests.

Singapore's immigration law lists people living with HIV as "prohibited
immigrants" [more].

Brunei - No HIV test is required for short-term visits, but people wishing to
work or study in Brunei must undergo a health examination, including an HIV
test, in their country of origin and again within two weeks after entering
Brunei. A positive
test leads to deportation.

Egypt - Foreign residents and their dependents aged 15 or older applying to
work study or train in Egypt for longer than 30 days require an HIV
test. A positive
test results in expulsion.

Iraq - HIV-positive persons are prohibited from
entering. Anyone wishing to
stay in the country longer than 10 days must take an HIV test.

Armenia - A negative HIV certificate is required by all foreigners applying
for visas. Until 14 July 2009,
HIV-positive foreigners already in the country were subject to deportation.
Since that date a new law has specified that HIV-positive foreigners would not
be deported, but a foreigner applying for a visa still has to present a negative
HIV test.

Kazakhstan - Visitors applying for work or residence permits must submit
negative HIV test results with their application to the Migration Police in the
city where they intend to work or
People found to be HIV-positive are deported. - IRIN