Dear Queerty: US Ban On HIV+ Visitors

Yesterday’s Queerty included a post on the ban of HIV+ tourists visiting the U.S.; we had no idea such a ban existed, until we read a story about how it was temporarily repealed to allow HIV+ athletes legally compete in the upcoming Gay Games. It’s all too depressing, and embarrassing, to comprehend.

But in the post, we questioned the effectiveness of such a ban, and how it would be enforced. How could a customs agent catch you, without giving you an HIV test as they checked your passport? It sounded silly.

We didn’t think of this all-too-real scenario, as a non-American reader explains:

How this rule (banning HIV+ visitors) is enforced is as nasty as Customs and Immigration get. These days, you can assume your bag’s been opened. It might even be formally searched, as mine was twice the last time I came to your, oh, insert your own adjective, country.

If such a search finds, say, your anti-retrovirals, you’re hauled in for the *really* invasive questioning. If you try and evade by, say, mailing them in to yourself, then when caught (they scan post from abroad pretty carefully now) you’re likely to be put in cells for a bit rather than just thrown out. If you lie on the visa waiver, you’ll not be let back in again either. Ever. If you try and apply for a visa, you’ll waste time and money and simply not get one (unless of course you’re famous).

We stand corrected, and we thank him for his thoughts.

Ban on HIV+ Tourists [Queerty, 3/15/06]