Travel and Migration
Many countries, including Australia, impose travel or migration restrictions on people living with HIV. These include:
- Restrictions on entry, which may differ according to visa type
- Criminal sanctions related to non-disclosure of HIV prior to sex.
The Global Database on HIV-specific travel and residence restrictions provides information on a country-by-country basis. It is important to note that laws in some countries carry heavy penalties for engaging in male-to-male sex or sex work.
All people applying for permanent residence in Australia must have an HIV test (among other tests) in order to meet the ‘Health Requirement’ for being granted a visa.
While some exceptions apply, generally people living with HIV do not meet the health requirement; however they can request a ‘waiver’ of this requirement and if successful, will be granted a permanent visa.
Immigration legislation, regulations and procedures change from time to time so if you wish to migrate to Australia you should check for the latest information about visas with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
Figuring out how to obtain permanent residence can be complex and confusing, so it’s a good idea to get legal advice or assistance if you or someone you know wants to migrate to Australia.
Legal advice services
HIV/AIDS Legal Centre, +61 2 9206 2060.
Immigration Advice & Rights Centre, +61 2 9279 4300.
Visa information for refugees
Refugee Legal, +61 3 9413 0101
Refugee Advice and Casework Service, +61 2 8355 7227
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, +61 3 9326 6066
Refugee and Immigration Legal Service +61 7 3846 9300
Travelling and HIV medications
Understanding how to get access to HIV medications – whether for treatment or as PrEP – is important for people who travel. Australian residents are entitled to ‘immediately necessary medical and public hospital treatment’ under reciprocal health care agreements with a number of countries, as are people visiting Australia from select countries. For information regarding these agreements visit the Medicare website. Medicare also recommends taking travel insurance in case your situation is not covered by these agreements. Insurance is strongly recommended for the United States of America where the cost of health care is extremely high.