Australia: The number of immigrants carrying HIV/AIDS into Victoria has more than quadrupled in the past two years
Health Department records show the number of HIV-positive people arriving from overseas and interstate has jumped from 16 in 2004 to 70 in 2006.
The shock rise has prompted State Health Minister Bronwyn Pike to suggest an overhaul of health checks for immigrants.
Federal Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews yesterday vowed to review the Victorian statistics.
All permanent visa applicants aged over 15 must be tested for HIV. The Federal Immigration Department then assesses individuals case-by-case.
They take into account the cost and impact on public health services, which is why a number of applicants are banned from entering Australia due to age or other ailments such as diabetes.
Migration regulations state only those with tuberculosis are not allowed into the country on the grounds of public risk.
Ms Pike said the increase in HIV newcomers highlighted the need for a national approach to the issue.
"Perhaps border controls are not adequate and need to be looked at too," Ms Pike said.
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has asked the National Health Protection Committee to consider national guidelines for dealing with HIV-positive people considered to be high-risk.
Two weeks ago, a Victorian man was ordered to stand trial for intentionally infecting two people with the deadly disease and attempting to infect another 16.
The total number of Victorians newly diagnosed with HIV was 264 in 2006, up from 206 in 2004.
Call for states to adopt 'risky' HIV-patient guidelines