US lifts HIV 'entry ban'

2010-01-04 14:34

Johannesburg - Being infected with HIV will no longer be an "ineligibility" when foreign citizens apply for visas to travel to the US, the US embassy in South Africa said on Monday.

Foreign citizens would also no longer be required to take an HIV test during medical examinations for visa purposes and HIV positive applicants would no longer require waiver processing by the US department of homeland security, a statement from the embassy read.

"Though the United States has been a leader worldwide when it comes to ending the stigma of HIV/Aids, we've been one of only 12 countries who, by their policies, still enable the myth that HIV/Aids is a threat," US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in November.

"The ability to travel freely and have access to affordable health care should be available to everyone. This change has been a long time coming, and I am pleased it is happening now."

The change would take effect on January 4 following a US ruling in November removing HIV infection from the definition of communicable disease of public health significance.