L’Australia discrimina le persone con HIV/AIDS:sdegno di tutte le organizzazioni

Nadir si associa allo sdegno dell’International AIDS Society e dell’European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) che hanno scritto al governo australiano per protestare contro la discriminazione rispetto all’ingresso delle persone con HIV/AIDS in occasione della 4-a conferenza mondiale su HIV e patogenesi, terapia e prevenzione (4°IAS), che si terrà a Sidney nella seconda metà di luglio 2007. Nadir non esclude azioni legali internazionali contro il governo australiano.RIPORTIAMO INTEGRALMENTE LA LETTERA DELLO IAS:

“Today’s statements by the Prime Minister indicating that he would move to ban migrants and refugees who are HIV positive from entering the country is a blatant disregard of basic human rights, and only serves to compound current HIV prevention and treatment efforts”, said Dr Pedro Cahn, President of the IAS and international chair of IAS 2007.

“Public health experts throughout the world agree that attempts to reduce HIV transmission by controlling the movements of people living with HIV are both impractical and ineffective; such statements also send an incredibly discriminatory message to a population that has been at the forefront of prevention, care and treatment efforts since this epidemic began. The Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS and the International Organization on Migration concluded in a 2004 review that “HIV/AIDS-related travel restrictions have no public health justification”,” added Dr Cahn.“

“The IAS strongly opposes any measures that would limit the movement of people living with HIV and AIDS. We believe that Prime Minister Howard’s suggestions of more restrictive policies in this area are damaging Australia’s reputation as a leading scientific voice on HIV prevention, care and treatment and as a leading voice for human rights,” said IAS Executive Director, Craig McClure.”

Current Australian policy does not require disclosure or limit short-term entry of PLHIV to the country. HIV testing is required of immigration applicants, but a positive HIV test does not automatically lead to rejection. Applicants are assessed on the basis of their potential burden to health and social services, along with their potential contribution to the social and economic life of Australia.

The IAS is the world’s leading independent association of HIV professionals, with more than 11,000 members from 175 countries. The IAS is a non-profit organization founded in 1988, and acts as an independent voice in the global response to AIDS on behalf of its members. The IAS is the custodian of the International AIDS Conferences, the paramount gathering of all disciplines in HIV/AIDS, held every two years, and organizes the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.



Your country will be hosting the 4th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Sydney from 22 to 25 July. Being chosen as host country for such an important meeting is an honour, and also an opportunity for your government to welcome the conference participants who will have travelled from far and wide in order to convene and discuss the latest scientific findings.

Local and international committees have been investing their time and energy for many
months in order to make this conference a success. On 11 May, not many weeks ahead of the conference, it was announced that you were asking your immigration and health ministers for advice on whether HIV/AIDS posed a public health risk and on the public health implications of letting HIV positive people into the country. By making this very late intervention, you are threatening the outcomes of this important event and the public image of the host country Australia. HIV positive people play a crucial role in the battle against the AIDS pandemic, both in prevention and in scientific research. In the 4th IAS meeting in Sydney as in many other international HIV/AIDS conferences, our community has been included in the conference planning and intends to contribute actively to the debates and discussions during the meeting. Attempts to control HIV positive conference participants’ liberty of movement will criminalise those who are the most motivated to end this epidemic. We find your plans,
motivated, we suspect, purely by populism, disrespectful of our struggle against the
disease that affects us.

We also take this opportunity to criticise the measures your country has taken targeting HIV-positive immigrants. There is international consensus among infectious disease specialists that such provisions are both ineffective as a public health measure and unacceptable from a human rights perspective. In today’s world, the fight against infectious diseases can only be effective if countries collaborate at a global level. Unilateral and isolationist measures belong to the 19th century.

We demand that you clarify the entry situation for HIV positive people urgently.

Yours sincerely,

Wim Vande Velde

Chair, European AIDS Treatment Group


UNAIDS, WHO, IOM, International AIDS Society, European HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum,
Australian AIDS Fund Incorporated, Health & Development Networks, Gates Foundation, ILGA (International lesbian and Gay Association), Health and Development Networks, Australian Embassy to the European Union