Entry regulations and travel insurance

Although contentious as a measure of health policy and not recommended by the WHO, more than 150 countries, among them the USA, refuse entry to HIV infected individuals. This affects especially long-term stays in connection with work or study. To avoid problems, information on entry regulations should be obtained beforehand. Peter Wiessner and Karl Lemmen's brochure "Schnellfinder" provides an excellent and comprehensive overview on entry policies. In cooperation with David Haerry of the Swiss Aids Info Docu, a regularly updated version of this databank is available online (see links).

The American foreign ministry also publishes a list of countries with HIV-specific entry restrictions (see links). Under certain circumstances, e.g. visits of conferences or family members or business travel, journeys to the USA are possible for HIV patients if they apply for a "visa waiver". Indeed, the procedure is time consuming and the passport endorsement can complicate further travel to the USA or other countries.

Travel insurances usually exclude existing illnesses and often refuse HIV patients explicitly. For that reason, special HIV travel insurances were made available in the UK and USA (see links).

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