People living with HIV are still being refused entry to the US, despite government plans to change legislation, it has been claimed.

According to the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), those with HIV who want to travel to the US must attend an interview at the American Embassy in London before they can travel legally.

A new online visa waiver system was set up recently, but those who have HIV must still have a special visa.

Currently, people with HIV are permanently excluded from the United States except in exceptional circumstances.

Following new legislation last year, the HIV entry ban is no longer law, but remains an administrative decision to be ruled on by the Department for Health and Human Services.

THT states it has received calls from people who used the online visa system and believed they were permitted to travel but were turned away at US border controls, incurring substantial travel expenses.

Lisa Power, head of policy at THT, said: “While we are pleased that the US government intend to revisit their entry regulations, it has not happened yet.

“People with HIV shouldn’t jump the gun by assuming it’s already okay to travel to the US without a special visa.

“Everyone entering the US is still required to state that they have no transmissible conditions, alongside not being a terrorist, a Nazi or a criminal.

“People who don’t get the special visa but then disclose their status on entry run the risk of being forcibly deported and banned from entering the US again, so please be aware of the rules before you fly.”

People living with HIV who would like further information on their right to travel internationally can contact THT Direct on 0845 1221 200 from 10am to 10pm weekdays and from 12pm to 6pm weekends, or email info@tht.org.uk.