5 Things To Know About Your Health, Rights, and HIV If You’re Undocumented

Posted on April 7, 2016 by The United We Dream Team

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Having HIV is not a reason to exclude someone from entering the United States, or be deported, but even though this has recently changed, many challenges are still faced by undocumented youth with HIV. Here are 5 things to know:

1) You have the right to live free from oppression

Lack of immigration status, poverty, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of oppression contribute to higher HIV risk and lack of quality treatment and care. Nearly a third of transgender people in the country living with HIV/AIDS compared to less than 1 percent for the general population.

Use this resource from the Center for Diseases Control to learn how prone you may be to contracting HIV.

2) You have the right to quality education and information

Too many young people don’t get the education they need to learn all the facts and prevention of HIV. People between the ages of 13 and 24 account for more than 25% of new HIV diagnosis.

Let’s change this! Here are some resources to learn more about the topic from Advocates for Youth-Serving Professionals.

3) You have the right to preventative care and resources

Condoms are important. Getting tested for HIV and having access to medication and preventive care is important.

Youth who are gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men only make up 4 percent of the male population in the United States, yet they accounted for 78 percent of new HIV infections among males and 63 percent of all new infections? Our own research showed that nearly 1 in 5 LGBTQ immigrants did not know their HIV status and 8 percent are HIV positive

Find preventative care near you. Visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Prevention Programs to find help!

4) You have the right to treatment and care

That’s right!

Undocumented immigrants, even those with DACA, are banned from enrolling in the Affordable Care Act. If you are HIV positive, you are eligible for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program regardless of your immigration status.

The program provides a comprehensive system of care that includes primary medical care and essential support services for people living with HIV who are uninsured or underinsured.

5) You have the right to live without discrimination, stigma, and fear

You’re not alone. There are laws that stigmatize and criminalize people with HIV, immigrants, and LGBTQ people. UWD is committed to fight back these laws, so join us.

You can learn more about pushing back against stigma at The Stigma Project.

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