At least 44 countries still have some form of entry, stay, work or residence restrictions for people with HIV, according to data presented at a session on HIV-related travel restrictions at the International AIDS Society conference (IAS) held in Kuala Lumpur in July 2013.
Delegates heard from Owie Franco who was tested for HIV without his consent when he moved to Saudi Arabia for work, was then detained for two weeks before being deported back to his home country of the Philippines.
"I was not treated with dignity," he said with winning understatement.
The satellite session heard how scientists and clinicians can help change such problematic laws, policies and practices through advocating for a rational, rights-based approach.
"Such laws and policies have nothing to do with public health, they are about political expediency," stated Malaysian political activist, Marina Mahathir, during a lively discussion on strategies to improve human rights and migration issues for people living with HIV.
"Discrimination does nothing good for anyone," she concluded.