An issue widely discussed in the AIDS 2008 conference is the fact that several countries deny the entry, stay or residence of HIV-positive people because of their HIV status.
According to the publication Entry denied, published by UNAIDS in partnership with other organisations and distributed at the conference, at least 67 countries are on the list of those that deny the entry to people living with HIV/AIDS.
“Stigma and discrimination around Aids remain as strong as ever: and in this context I join my voice with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and call on all the countries to drop restrictions on entry to people simply because they are living with HIV”, Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, is quoted as saying in the publication.
A working group was created in February by UNAIDS and recommendations are expected by the end of the year for tackling the problem.
Last month (30 July), US President George Bush signed a law for the reauthorization of the president’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan), which includes the promise for banning prohibitions on HIV-positive people travelling to United States.
Luisa Massarani, SciDev.Net/Latin America and the Caribbean