June 23, 2009
Advocates: Visa Laws Pose Risks to Those With HIV
Human Rights Watch reported last week that international migrant workers, foreign students and political refugees living with HIV worldwide are discriminated against and often endangered by restrictive visa laws, The New York Times reports.
According to the report, guest workers from countries such as South Korea, Sri Lanka and the Philippines working in wealthier countries such as Saudi Arabia often face deportation without receiving back wages and consideration for whether they will be able to access health care elsewhere. People living with the virus may also be subject to mandatory HIV tests without their consent.
Human Rights Watch believes that the visa restrictions have caused people to commit fraud or risk their lives by stopping treatment.
The International Organization for Migration estimates it that 192 million people in the world live outside the country where they were born. About a third of the world’s countries limit the right of people living with HIV to enter or stay, even if they are managing their infection with antiretroviral drugs.
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