Singapore lifts ban on HIV-positive visitors
11 09 15 Categories: General
Singapore has lifted its two-decade-long ban on HIV-infected people entering the country, but will limit their stay to a maximum of three months.
The health ministry said on Monday that the ban was lifted on 1 April, “given the current context with more than 5,000 Singapore residents living with HIV and the availability of effective treatment for the disease”. The three-month restriction is apparently aimed at preventing long-term residence by foreigners, such as those looking to work in the island-nation or to accompany a child studying here. “The policy on the repatriation and permanent blacklisting of HIV-positive foreigners was recommended in the late 1980s when the disease was new, fatal and no effective treatment was available,” said a ministry spokesman.
While a short-term visit “poses very low additional risk of HIV transmission to the local population,” the ban on a long-term one remains as “the public health risk posed by long-stayers is not insignificant,” the spokesman said. Countries such as Australia and New Zealand have similar restrictions on long-term visitors with HIV. Short-term visitors to Singapore have to obtain a Social Visit Pass that is valid for two to four weeks, and may subsequently be renewed for up to three months. Pass holders are not allowed to work in the city-state.Source: www.theguardian.com