Media centre

WHO commends China on lifting entry and travel restrictions for HIV-positive people

27 April 2010

WHO welcomes the decision of the Government of China to remove entry and travel restrictions for people living with HIV.

"China’s decision to categorically remove HIV/AIDS from the list of conditions subject to entry restrictions is a significant step in the right direction," said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. "This decision should inspire other nations to change laws and policies that continue to discriminate against people living with HIV."

More than 50 countries still have laws and restrictions that exacerbate the marginalization of people living with HIV, particularly vulnerable populations such as sex workers, young people, and men who have sex with men, limiting their opportunities to access HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support services.

"Many policies that discriminate against people living with HIV were enacted at a time when AIDS was surrounded by widespread fear and hopelessness. With HIV prevention and treatment now saving millions of lives, this is no longer the case. Policies that help curb discrimination can help prevent further transmission," said Dr Chan.

China's announcement is made in the lead up to the opening of the Shanghai Expo on 1 May.

For more information, please contact:

Christy Feig
Director of the Department of Communications
WHO Geneva
Telephone: +41 22 791 30 75
Mobile: +41 79 251 70 55

Tunga Namjilsuren
Team leader, Communications HIV/AIDS
WHO Geneva
Telephone: + 41 22 791 10 73
Mobile: + 41 79 203 31 76