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Detention, Removal and People Living with HIV

The British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the National AIDS Trust (NAT) have issued a booklet containing guidelines for healthcare and voluntary sector professionals in relation to immigration detention, removal and people living with HIV.

The guidelines state that three months supply of anti-retroviral medication should be supplied to people with HIV on removal.  They should also be given a letter for their future treating physicians, and contact details of trusted HIV support organisations in the country they are being removed to.  Further guidelines about the roles and responsibilities of relevant personnel and best practice are also set out.

Medical Justice Network has found unplanned disruption to the treatment of HIV positive individuals in immigration detention and a denial of HIV tests and results.  It has confirmed that a number of removals of HIV+ detainees have been stopped because the BIHVA and NAT guidelines were breached. 

This may be of help to any HIV+ person detained under the Immigration Acts in Northern Ireland, including in short-term holding facilities or prisons, who may face transfer to an Immigration Removal Centre in Scotland or England and removal to her/his country of origin.  It is also relevant for those working with or supporting HIV+ immigrants who are liable to detention.

For specialist advice in individual cases, contact the Law Centre’s immigration advice line, Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 1 pm, 9024 4401 and 7126 2433.

The booklet can be downloaded from www.bhiva.org and NAT www.nat.org.uk.

Medical Justice Network: www.medicaljustice.org.uk.

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