Just as the bill on immigration and integration was set to be discussed in Parliament, Conseil national du SIDA (CNS) approved by vote, at its 27 April 2006 plenary session, a memorandum of opinion on the impact that restrictions on immigration would have on public health. In the statement, it emphasises that there exist interactions between national policy on the right to asylum and the fight against HIV.

Universal access to healthcare, regardless of legal status, and the right to healthcare asylum in France are both vital to success in the fight against the HIV-infection epidemic. Early medical – as well as psychological and social – care helps better control HIV-infection and contributes to creating the circumstances needed to prevent transmission.

In contrast, any measure likely to impair the stability of a foreigner’s situation may have a negative impact on public health. Unstable living conditions are considered harmful to human health, whether that instability be economic or legal. That is why those wishing to seek asylum for healthcare reason must be allowed to work, so that they may enjoy the financial self-sufficiency required for decent living conditions. Likewise, the benefit of family immigration is important for foreigners living with HIV, as the presence and support of a loved one are fundamental to treatment compliance.

Consequently, when the Law on Immigration and Integration is voted upon, the CNS asks that consideration be given to the fact that, depending on the procedure used, a migratory regulation policy could have negative or positive effects on public health and the fight against HIV.