Australia: HIV-positive immigrants could have their movements monitored or be prevented from coming altogether
Prime Minister John Howard has written to his immigration and health ministers asking them for advice on whether HIV/AIDS poses a public health risk and on the public health implications of letting HIV-positive people into the country.
When Mr Howard said last month that he would consider stopping HIV-positive people coming to the country unless there were humanitarian reasons to let them in, his comments were dismissed by some as populist.
But this latest move suggests there is a possibility those infected could find it harder to come to Australia, or, if they can come, to move about the country without having to report their movements.
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews yesterday confirmed the Department of Immigration and Citizenship was preparing advice for the Prime Minister.
The department was "looking at what requirements we have under different visa classes (for HIV testing)" and whether these need to be expanded, she said.
People wanting to become permanent residents are currently tested for HIV, but some on student or business visas are not, she said. When people do test positive for HIV, their immigration is automatically reviewed by health authorities who look at whether they will pose a significant cost to the health system or whether they can support themselves. But the final decision on whether they can come to Australia is at the discretion of the Immigration Minister. State authorities are not necessarily notified if an HIV-positive person is moving to their jurisdiction.
Don't admit immigrants with HIV to Australia