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China lifts HIV/AIDS entry ban

[JURIST] The Chinese government announced Tuesday that it has lifted a ban on entry [Xinhua report] into that country for individuals with HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases. The ban was originally implemented under the Frontier Health and Quarantine Law and the Law on Control of the Entry and Exit of Aliens [texts], both passed in 1987. The ban had temporarily been lifted for international events, such as the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, but the inconvenience that resulted, as well as the increased knowledge of how HIV/AIDS is spread, were reasons cited by the government as factors for changing the law. China's action drew praise [press release] from the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS [official website], which urged the 51 countries and areas that still bar entry to individuals with HIV/AIDS to follow China's lead in overturning their bans. The lifting of the ban does not enjoy widespread support from Chinese civilians, however, with 84 percent supporting keeping the ban in place [China Daily report].

Until recently, the US was one of the nations with an entry ban for individuals with HIV/AIDS. That ban was lifted in January [JURIST report] when the Centers for Disease Control [official website] removed HIV/AIDS from its list of communicable diseases of public significance. It was first reported in late November that China was considering lifting the entry ban [JURIST report], ahead of the Shanghai Expo scheduled for May of this year. China had previously relaxed its restrictions on entry [JURIST report] in 2007, ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games.

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