Cayman urged to drop HIV ban by UNAIDS

| 27/06/2019 | 110 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The Cayman Islands is one of 48 countries being urged by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to drop their restrictions on people living with HIV landing or working in those places. While the Cayman government does not necessarily prevent HIV+ people landing or visiting Cayman, it still requires work permit applicants to take an HIV test. CNS understands that some cases have gone before the courts to challenge the policy.

In a press release Thursday, UNAIDS said that all travel restrictions based on HIV status are discriminatory, prevent people from accessing HIV services and propagate stigma.

“Travel restrictions on the basis of HIV status violate human rights and are not effective in achieving the public health goal of preventing HIV transmission,” said Gunilla Carlsson, UNAIDS Executive Director. “UNAIDS calls on all countries that still have HIV-related travel restrictions to remove them.”

Meanwhile, Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of UN Development Programme’s HIV, Health and Development Group, said these policies are counterproductive to effective AIDS responses. “HIV-related travel restrictions fuel exclusion and intolerance by fostering the dangerous and false idea that people on the move spread disease,” she added.

Cayman is one of only a few democratic, developed countries on the list that still requires an HIV test or diagnosis before people are allowed to work.

Speaking in Switzerland at a UN meeting this week, UN envoy Dainius Pūras, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, said policies requiring compulsory tests for HIV are not based on scientific evidence, are harmful to the enjoyment of human rights and perpetuate discrimination.

“They are a direct barrier to accessing health care and therefore ineffective in terms of public health. I call on states to abolish discriminatory policies that require mandatory testing and impose travel restrictions based on HIV status,” he added.

It remains unclear exactly what the current government policy is on HIV testing for work permits or any other reason to land in the Cayman Islands. At the recent Chamber of Commerce Economic Forum, WORC Director Sharon Roulstone said that work permit applicants would no longer be required to undergo a chest x-ray to accompany their medical questionnaire, but she made no mention of the issue regarding HIV tests.

CNS has contacted Roulstone seeking clarity on the current policy and whether government has any plans to abandon the requirement in the near future, given the human rights implications. We are awaiting a response.

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Comments (110)

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  1. Anon. says:

    What about expats who come here AIDS free and are given the HIV virus by Caymanians?
    I guess you don’t care about them because they are expats?

    I believe a lot of cases here are because of this, not by someone with the HIV virus coming here spreading it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I work in the service industry and sleep around a bit, I like the fact the people I sleep with have been tested for HIV and most likely don’t have it.
    It would not be responsible to import HIV to such a transient population.
    This is another example of the UN s sick agenda.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We should go for drinks!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just FYI. The partners who are sleeping around as much as you need to be re-tested after six weeks. Having been tested once means nothing if you are sexually active. You also need to get tested regularly.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is a very old rule of thumb as nowadays everyone sleeps with almost anyone. I would suggest you take advantage of the free HIV testing at the Red Cross every week.

  3. Cay Yac says:

    I’m not stigmatizing people with Aids, after knowing you have patients that deliberately LIE about their condition to have sex with you! That is whats happening in the larger countries.

    Do we need that here? I say, NO WAY! WE DON’T NEED SUCH CHARACTERS ON OUR ISLAND !

    BTW, NOT ALL DISCRIMINATION IS WRONG. DISCRIMINATION IS NOT A BAD WORD WHEN YOU HAVE VALID REASONS TO DISCRIMINATE!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Christian school and parents ?
      Typical uneducated caymanian.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Typical entitled expatriate response much ??

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      • Anonymous says:

        Why is it every time a someone disagrees with the popular/politically correct opinion, they’re automatically a Caymanian who is “Christian” and/or “uneducated”? I am a Caymanian atheist who is very educated and I do not agree with the UN’s position. Yes, it is good to lower the stigma against people with HIV because in most cases the person was not at fault (especially those who were born with it or who got it from blood-transfusions). However, that doesn’t mean that I want the restrictions to be lifted – in fact, I would want the restrictions to get tougher as there are some expats who come from places like the Dominican Republic with the disease but because they only get a work-permit for like 1-3 months, they don’t have to get tested (to my current knowledge anyway).

        But to your comment about “typical uneducated Caymanian”, I will assume that you’re not from here. I would invite you to read the following quote….

        “Welcome!

        You came here from there because you didn’t like there, and now you want to change here to be like there. We are not racist, phobic or anti-whatever-you-are, we simply like here the way it is and most of us actually came here because it was not like there, wherever there was. You are welcome here, but please stop trying to make here like there. If you want here to be like there you should not have left there to come here, and you are encouraged to leave here and go back there at your earliest convenience.”

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        • Anonymous says:

          Caymanians are here living with HIV too you know! The laws don’t need to get stricter, all you have to do is be responsible (i.e. wear a condom or make sure the guy wears one if you’re going to engage w/ someone whom you don’t know their sexual history).

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          • Anonymous says:

            We’re not talking about Caymanians who already have the disease, dum-dum. The article is about importing non-Caymanians who have it…

            Read next time!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are very paranoid. Please stop keyboard shouting. My mind already hurts after reading your ignorance passed on by fake assumptions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not just in larger countries. There are Caymanian people here with the condition here who lie to your face. Why would we want to import more?

  4. Anonymous says:

    How many members of the UN actually respect their citizens human rights anyway? Check out – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-45840980

    The UN is a sick joke.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Having lost two family members to AIDS, I can tell you that seeing your son or daughter waste away slowly is not something that should happen to anyone. The last few weeks are the worst, then the end finally comes. I have tears in my eyes writing this, and hope none of you reading this ever have a loved one suffer this fate. Please do not think it can’t happen to you. Until an acceptable cure is found, please do not let more AIDs into our country.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I live in a country of millions where people’s hiv status IS a secret. I don’t go around terrified of hiv, because I am not promiscuous and also I would practice safer sex. I am sure I know people who are hiv positive but hey it’s none of my business. Happy PRIDE Cayman Islands, please come into the year 2019.

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    • Anonymous says:

      4:42 pm, Go back to your Country then, be happy and leave us Caymanian to make our own choices. We don’t want people with Hiv/Aids coming here on work permits, and that final..

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well if your HIV/AIDS rampant country had educated you properly about the disease you would know that transmission is possible through other means, not just sexual contact. Which then increases your exposure risk. Not sure what being gay has to do with the argument but studies have shown in the past that homosexual men were the most at risk group for infection.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Having lived my entire life in “hiv-rampant” countries, how come I have not contracted the disease “by other means”? Because the likelihood of contracting hiv other than by sexual contact is very low.

        This is a very false comfort Caymanians are living with. You have sheltered yourselves from the real world. When, not if, the law is changed to remove the discrimination, how will you continue to live?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Suspect the poster isn’t into sharing needles either. Any other transmission routes you would like to share?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hell will break loose if they change the Law to allow Hiv/Aids come in Cayman on work permits.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So everyone thinks this is wrong, yet, two women who want to get married, who isn’t bothering anyone or jeopardizing anyone, everyone is in an uproar!!!

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  8. Elvis says:

    I support Cayman’s law not to allow HIV here or work here, I’m really not against gay, bi etc but please don’t think these diseases will harm no one. It will become normal one day to be HIV then full blown then die at 20 odd years old I’m sure, so take your HIV and shove it where your sun don’t shine

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    • Anonymous says:

      You know that people don’t have to die from HIV anymore, right? It’s now a completely manageable disease with medication. Plus, someone with an undetectable viral load managed on medication CANNOT transmit HIV to an uninfected person. This isn’t the 80s.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You had me agreeing until you went full postal on the HIV affected.

      I’m not against LGBT and think they should be able to enjoy the same rights as the rest of us. However, this issue has nothing to do with them or us. It has to do with who will pay for non-Caymanian diseases, if we stop doing the pre-work permit testing. that’s it. That’s the whole issue.

      I think people with preexisting conditions that require medical treatment should not be considered for work permits. There. I said it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Anthony eden told you that hiv people are gay ?
      I am not surprised.
      I am sure you are going to church every sunday.
      Caymanian or jamaican i assume.
      Church if god.
      Dumb uneducated idiot.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s truly outdated logic, The highest infection rates are in “straight” women and generally those of colour. So you may want to be careful what you put where the sun don’t shine, as you may get a surprise.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This human rights thing is a joke. What kind of world will we be living in if everyone who do not get what they want, sued for their rights, horrible/pathetic. Why do we not have the right to say and demand who can come and live in our house.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A plague on both your houses.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because your house needs a lot of housekeeping. Until you clean it yourself, we are staying put.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes we should actually deny all applications if the person has had any past medical conditions that would create undue stress on our health system, so HIV, Cancer, Heart Issues should all be considered. We only accept the young and healthy, kind of sounds like what the third reich was planning as well.

  10. Anonymous says:

    As of last Sept, there were 162 Caymanians with HIV. 102 male and 60 female. Fact.

    https://www.hsa.ky/public_health/hiv-and-aids-data-in-the-cayman-islands-as-of-30th-september-2018/

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    • Anonymous says:

      And your point is ? Now hit me with the statistics for Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, North America, Honduras etc…

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      • Anonymous says:

        8:100-am- the point is that not only expats are the ones w/ HIV/AIDS! Caymanians have it too, which is why they posted that link. I can’t say I’m surprised, with the mentality that safe sex isn’t important!

  11. Anonymous says:

    It should depend on the job the permit is for and the background of the person.
    You dont want a guy from africa applying for gardening work, who thinks by having sex with virgin it will cure him.
    But you should not have an issue with an accountant from Germany who come here with his family.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    People with HIV are as horny and stupid as everyone else.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    If there is one thing Caymanians do better than discrimination, please do tell.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    By law people are supposed to disclose their HIV status before engaging in sexual intercourse with anyone. But with the current drugs for the disease, it is possible to test negative even when you’re HIV positive (this is called undetectable status). So…

    NEVER ask a person if they are HIV positive or not as undetectable HIV people could tell you no and they won’t be considered as lying in a court of law. Rather, ask “Have you EVER tested positive for HIV?” They could like and say no, but if it turns out that they have it and passed it onto you, you can take them to court.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Q: If the person coming here is going to be on the SHIC plan do you still support them being allowed entry if they have lifelong manageable diseases which the SHIC plan and their salary (after expenses) will not cover the cost of care for?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The lifetime costs of hiv treatment is very low and is subsidized by WHO and every government in the world. In some countries it is free.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Then these people should go to those countries where it is free instead of the Cayman Islands.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You got that right, subsidized by WHO, yaaa the people that’s who. Nothing is free Bo Bo. There is a charge to us for all those people that say this and that is Free.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Free like social services, i know strong young men and women saying iam getting free medical and $ 7:50 p m from Govt. Nothing is free someones got to pay for it and its the working taxpayers. Period, Caymanians please try to understand the true facts.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know how you know that but if that is so then the ban on issuing work permits to persons with HIV is producing the right results. No reason to change it.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    I am very happy that the Cayman Islands requires health testing for anyone seeking to come and work here. There are a lot of people who come here from third world countries where health care is terrible and disease is rampant. This country is too small to risk the lives of people already living here and it could happen and happen quickly unless there are efforts to combat this very thing. I already worry about the health of people working in restaurants and bars. The “behind the screens” reality of prostitution is a known fact and already presents a huge health factor. Keep the health tests coming and keep Cayman healthy!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    hiv positive persons can be taking the drugs and antibodies doesnt show up in system when doctors do tests??? are you all aware of that?

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  19. Anonymous says:

    The UN Human Rights Trojan virus that keeps on giving…

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  20. It's not discrimination says:

    New-comers to Cayman don’t realize that the policy of refusing work permits to HIV positive individuals started in the late 80’s, during the beginning of HIV epidemic and way before anybody knew the extend of the spread of the epidemic. This policy basically spared the Cayman Islands from the epidemic, with relatively few Caymanians becoming infected (statistically speaking, compared to the wider world).

    Many countries deny entry on medical grounds (the UK, for example, denies entry to non-UK citizens with TB). This is to prevent the spread of infectious diseases to their population. Cayman’s policy is a preventative measure, it is not discrimination.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Also helped that this population is infinitesimally minuscule
      Quick question for you, if this is about health and safety (which it isn’t, its just a convenient excuse you are using)

      Where are the required tests for ALL STDs and communicable diseases, Is anyone denied a WP or entry to the country based on having herpes or gonorrhea?

      This was never about health and safety it was about keeping persons with HIV specifically stigmatized gay persons out of Cayman, plain and simple

      The only thing Cayman has been trying to prevent is the acknowledgment of gay persons as people

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you 10:01 for that well written, unbiased, informative comment. I’ve learnt something today. Now in typical fashion everyone has now suddenly become a board certified MD and social Analyst to able to direct the government on what to do on this policy. From their skewed self serving perspective.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Tuberculosis is a highly-contagious disease which most countries STILL prohibit. There is no public health worry with hiv, which is sexually transmitted. On the contrary, tuberculosis can cause terrible side effects, death and is hard to treat. You can get TB from a sneeze. How can you compare the two diseases?

      https://www.tbfacts.org/get-spread-tb/

  21. Anonymous says:

    The answer is no. Full stop. We don’t want to import HIV. Thank you.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    What’s next, let people with Ebola in because it’s UnPC to do otherwise?

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  23. Anonymous says:

    There is no ban! Lots of people with HIV are able to get work permits. It is a question of weighing risk on numerous factors including age, stability of relationship, risk of transmission, availability of insurance etc…

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    • Anonymous says:

      No point in thumbing the above down. It is a correct and accurate statement of the current law and position.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    I feel bad for those who’ve contracted HIV, however why should we allow those applying for work permit to come here and access medical treatment?

    As mentioned in the article, Cayman doesn’t prevent people with HIV from visiting here. I think the current policy is sensible.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Really now @7:37 pm, doesn’t affect anyone else, did you really think that through?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Try responding to the comment, takes about as much time as putting a condom on for a roll in the sheets with a new partner.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Not until specific laws that criminalize behaviors that can potentially expose another to HIV are implemented.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Cayman does not have the facilities or the ability to treat new workers coming to the island that have these diseases. Plus who in their right mind would want a bunch of new workers that have HIV/Aids that are teachers, gym instructors, or any occupation that is around children where these very innocent have the ability to have a lifelong disease before their life starts.

    Other than that, if these people have the disease before they arrive, they can stay in their country or go to another country where they can get proper treatment and access to proper healthcare. Cayman does not have the ability to treat people and should not be burdened with treating people who should stay in their own countries whether they contacted the diseases before arrival or after arrival.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @5:35 am… so I guess all the Caymanians (over 150 of them) who have HIV are screwed? Maybe they should go to another country to get the proper treatment!~

  28. God's child says:

    If someone needs clean blood from a blood donor in the near future with Cayman islands being so small and everyone sleeping with each other. Who or where will the blood come from?

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  29. Anonymous says:

    caymankind….

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  30. Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

    All I have to say is this. The Cayman Islands Government spreads, hate, discrimination and stigma towards it’s own Caymanians. Who have to live daily with no laws, and as always. Cayman is full of HATE, DISCRIMINATION, STIGMA. Sad, but be carefull what you all Annoymous posters wish fir. Maybe you all should check the so called Christians who are the main ones along with previous and current so called Government. WHO ALONG WITH THE WASTE OF A COMMUNITY AFFAIRS MINISTRY. WHO DENY CAYMANIANS LIVING WITH THE HIV VIRUS, THE BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS.

    STOP HATING YOUR OWN PEOPLE AND START DOING MORE. As I just read once again. Tourist in East End wake up to masked Intruders with a gun. This country is Full of hate. I wonder if we start naming who is gay, bi in Government, maybe something will finally get done to help those of us that are being denied basic human rights. I for 1 can name a few, but wouldn’t waste my breath. They are not worth it.

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  31. Stop making babies you don’t care for says:

    I agree, banning them is terrible. It’s a disease that is maintainable. Maybe the threat will make more of these people use condoms.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not only transmitted through sexual transmission. What if someone gets accidentally injured at work and blood splatters everywhere. You or you child are in the vicinity and now you too are infected. Is that something that you want to be constantly concerned about?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, that’s happening all the time. We should be ‘constantly concerned’ about it. Whenever I go to [insert name of just about any other country in the world] I’m vigilant to ensure my child and I don’t get splattered by blood from other members of the public. Its ruined a number of holidays so severe is the risk and my constant concern about it. Now I just stay safe here in Cayman.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You just travel from the 80s with that ignorance?

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      • Anonymous says:

        HIV dies when exposed to air and is not infectious…… Your point is irrelevant and you have nothing to be concerned about.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Well I would be concerned by their lack of understanding of a subject which they could easily read up on on Wikipedia in 5 minutes – willingly blind to the truth or just dumb?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Except for the drug needles.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not to mention drug needles.

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      • Anonymous says:

        People with Hiv/Aids should stay in their own Country

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  32. Anonymous says:

    I guess they will be marching out in town shortly.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is also the possibility that someone might have undetected HIV. What if fhat is so and the person starts up a relationship with someone here( or even more than one person) the screening done here could well make the difference between life and death for the infected person as well as others. Please do not rush to change this requirement. Why do so many of you out there want the floodgates open for everyone and everything. Cayman cannot accommodate everyone!!

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  33. Anonymous says:

    Should continue to shop people with AIDS /HIV from getting work permits, for more people for long time in the Islands, will have greater chances to spread the decreases, but should allow visitors to come on a visit.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Are you kidding me!!! What do they want to have more people with AIDS running around. Good Cayman is done if they allow this to happen

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  35. Anonymous says:

    This would be a wonderful development. A person’s hiv status is nobody’s business but theirs, their doctor’s and their intimate partner’s. It does not affect anyone else.

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