The International AIDS Society (IAS) condemns the US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a ban on travel to the United States by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.
As the IAS is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with more than 11,000 members from more than 180 countries working on all fronts of the global AIDS response, we know that this discriminatory policy prevents our members, including people living with HIV, from ensuring the free, unencumbered sharing of knowledge and experience that is critical to turning back the HIV epidemic.
This ban will mean that HIV scientists, frontline health workers and advocates from affected countries will not be able to obtain visas to attend professional gatherings in the United States.
As the leading organizer of global scientific meetings on HIV and AIDS, including the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020) in San Francisco and Oakland, we call on US leaders to reverse this unconscionable policy that tears families apart, endangers refugees fleeing crises and, despite claims to the contrary, primarily targets individuals based on their faith. Restricting entry based on nationality, faith and other traits only serves to foster a climate of fear and hostility.
We are reaching out to our members in the countries targeted by this policy to make their voices heard and to determine the most effective ways to ensure their participation. We are committed to working with our community partners in the US and internationally to advocate for the lifting of this ban, as well as the reversal of long-standing US immigration restrictions on people who inject drugs and sex workers, groups that play a central role in the response to the global HIV epidemic.