Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

HIV-Based Persecution in Asylum and Immigration Decisions

By  Victoria Neilson, Human Rights Magazine  Fall 2004 Editor’s Note: The following is a condensed version of a longer article that will appear in 19 AIDS & PUBLIC POLICY JOURNAL (2004). Since 1987 the United States has sent a clear message to foreign nationals: if you are HIV-positive, keep out. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) labels HIV “a communicable disease of public health significance,” rendering those living with HIV/AIDS “inadmissible.” Applicants for temporary visas who self-disclose their sero-positive status or applicants for permanent residence who test positive for HIV during a required medical examination therefore will be prevented from entering the United States or obtaining legal permanent residence unless they meet the stringent requirements for an HIV waiver. Paradoxically, at the same time that the United States enforces one of the world’s most restrictive HIV immigration policies, in some […]

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