HIV-positive people deported from Sweden

HIV-positive immigrants in Sweden are being sent back to their homelands, despite the fact that they will not have access to treatment when there.

Swedish government policy says that people with live-threatening illnesses who cannot get treatment in their homelands should be granted Swedish residency.

But according to an article in Dagens Nyheter, the Swedish Migration Board does not take a person’s ability to afford treatment in their home country into account when deciding whether to deport them.

Inger Lindgren, at the HIV Clinic at the Karolinska University Hospital told DN that the rules required only “that there is one tablet in the whole country…it doesn’t matter whether this costs a million kronor.”

According to a spokeswoman for the Alien Appeals Board, the rules are based on the principle that it would be too expensive for Sweden to give treatment to all who need it.

But Lars Möberg, an infectious diseases specialist at the Karolinska University Hospital, said that he did not believe that there was a great risk of “medical tourism”, as most HIV positive foreigners in Sweden are diagnosed here.

“Testing is not widespread in Africa or Thailand,” he said.

Åsa Kronberg, legal adviser at the Swedish Association for HIV-positive People, told DN that Sweden has an “ethical and moral responsibility” to continue treatment that has already started.