Tuesday, 19 July 2011

UNAIDS: Armenia lifts travel ban for people living with HIV

Excellent news!

Armenia lifts travel ban for people living with HIV


GENEVA, 15 July 2011—The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) commends the decision by the Government of Armenia to lift its travel restrictions for people living with HIV. The reforms—which took effect yesterday—align the country’s legislation with international public health standards.

Restrictions that limit an individual’s movement based solely on HIV-positive status are discriminatory and violate human rights. There is no evidence that such restrictions protect public health or prevent HIV transmission. Furthermore, HIV-related travel restrictions have no economic justification, as people living with HIV can lead long and productive working lives.

“I welcome Armenia’s decision to lift its HIV-related travel restrictions,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “I urge other countries to follow Armenia’s example and take the necessary steps to remove punitive laws and practices as a matter of priority,” he added.

With the removal of Armenia’s travel restrictions, UNAIDS counts 48 countries, territories, and areas that continue to impose some form of restriction on the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV based on HIV status. Five countries deny visas even for short-term stays and 22 countries deport individuals once their HIV-positive status is discovered.

1 comment:

artmika said...

PINK Armenia posted an intro by UNAIDS Armenia rep that gives some background info re the subject matter:

The first achievement was amendment of the Law on Preventing the Disease Caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus based on UNAIDS HQ comments and recommendations. The Amendments of the Law (adopted 19 March 2009, ratified 6 April 2009) repealed earlier provisions restricting stay and residence of people living with HIV. However, according to the Law on Foreigners (Article 8/d), the entry, stay and residence of people with an infectious disease that threatens public health was prohibited, and HIV was included on a list of seven “infectious diseases” (Government Decree N49, 25 January 2008).

To fully rescind travel restrictions related to HIV, UNAIDS Armenia continued working with the National Assembly, Ministry of Health, and Migration department on revision of AIDS related sub-legislation. As a result of joint efforts the Decree N49 was reviewed and HIV was excluded from the list of seven “infectious diseases” that threatens public health during the Government session on 30 June 2011 (ref: Gov decree N896 – Ն, dated 30 June, 2011).

Naira Sargsyan, MD, MPH
Social Mobilization and Partnership Adviser
UNAIDS Armenia