HIV Travel Ban Countries and Traveling With HIV

When HIV positive travelers visit other countries or when you are visiting countries with HIV outspread, in a way, you put yourself and people around you at risk.

But because HIV can only spread when becoming in close contact with another person, the risks are low.

This is exactly why there has been so much controversy regarding traveling with HIV.

So what is the current situation with HIV travel ban countries and does that affect you?

And is there really a reason for these sort of restrictions? 

Reason For Such Restrictions

Of course, people who enjoy travel would love to visit different places without having to deal with different restrictions. But we have to understand that all of these restrictions have been implemented for a reason.

And whenever something changes, these previous restrictions are simply lifted and more freedom is granted to travelers.

For a while, when HIV was on a worldwide spread, a significant number of countries worldwide banned travelers who are HIV positive. And of course, the reason for such ban was to eliminate the spread of this dangerous virus.

As with all restrictions, governments are always doing everything in their power, to protect to best interests and safety of their citizens and country altogether.

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Ending the HIV Travel Ban

However, when talking about traveling with HIV it soon became clear, that travelers are not responsible for a significant spreading of the virus. Therefore most countries worldwide have lifted this ban and for the most part, people who are HIV positive car travel without dealing with this restriction.

The USA made this move relatively late and lifted the travel ban only in 2010under the Obama administration.

For many people, this gave the opportunity for the first time. And since then, nothing has changed regarding traveling to USA for those who are HIV positive.

However, there are still countries that ban traveling with HIV

HIV Travel Ban Countries

HIV travel restrictions are still in place in some specific countries which are:

  • Yemen
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sudan and South Sudan
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Jordan
  • Brunel
  • Iraq

Before traveling to any of these countries you should make sure about the measures of these restrictions, because it might cause serious problems when traveling.

But because most countries have lifted the ban, traveling with HIV and traveling with HIV medication generally causes no problems. As mentioned earlier, USA lifted the ban in 2010, which means there should be no problems with your travel plans.

Affect on acquiring an ESTA

When you are traveling to USA you are authorized by a Visa or an ESTA which depends on your citizenship. For the most part traveling to USA still requires a Visa.

However, if you are a citizen of one of the VWP countries, you need to obtain an ESTA.

Because the travel ban for HIV positive citizens has been lifted, this should not affect your chances of being accepted an ESTA. Which means that all you need to do is fill out the online form for ESTA application and wait for the acceptance!

Of course, the USA authorities will check your background and different factors might affect the acceptance of your application. But there is no reason to think that HIV could cause specific problems.

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The only thing that could in any way affect you is traveling with HIV medication. If you are traveling with specific medication it is strongly advised to keep in mind all of the factors regarding traveling with medication in general.

All of this means that for now, HIV positive people should be more concerned about being insured when traveling to avoid any serious problems.

Of course, there is a chance that some form of HIV ban could be set in the future. This also applies to the USA, especially when under the Trump administration.

Could the Ban Be Set Back Again?

In case of a new worldwide spread of HIV, the World Health Organization might encourage some countries to put in place some form of specific regulations regarding traveling freedom of people who are HIV positive.

At the moment there is nothing that would have us believe that such restrictions could actually occur. However, you should always make sure that no regulations are in place before you travel.

Remember, that for the most part, these kind of restrictions are in place for your own good and for the safety of others.

Keep in mind your own safety

When talking about freedom to travel and HIV in general, you have to keep in mind that it is not just about you as a traveler having HIV.

When traveling, you should always pay attention to your own safety and make the right decision to avoid any problems and keep yourself away from danger.

This also means that you should do some research on countries with high HIV positive percentage among its citizens. When you do that, you have to keep in mind all of the precautions that would allow you to avoid putting your health in danger.

Also, if you are HIV positive, you should consider obtaining an HIV travel insurance.

HIV Travel Insurance

Just as with any type of emigration travel insurance, the travel insurance for HIV plays an important role in your safety while being abroad.

Different illnesses and accidents are more likely to occur when you are traveling and it can cause serious and expensive problems for you and people around you. This is why you should think about obtaining a specific insurance with covers people who are HIV positive.

There are many insurance agencies which provide a chance to cover travelers for HIV related accidents.

Freedom to Travel

For now, even travelers who are HIV positive can enjoy great travel freedom with some specific exceptions. Which means you should always do some specific research on countries you want to visit!

However, for the most part, you have to take care of your own health and pay more attention to travel insurance.

Of course, be sure to obtain all of the necessary travel documents before planning ahead.