China to relax entry prohibition against HIV-positive aliens

China to relax entry prohibition against HIV-positive aliens

[JURIST] The Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China [official website, in Chinese] said Monday that the government is working toward relaxing its strict policy [press release, in Chinese] of denying all HIV-positive aliens entry to the country. A ministry spokesperson said that the policy was initially put in place before the transmission of HIV was fully understood. Under current law, temporary visitors are required to declare if they are HIV-positive, while those seeking Chinese residency must submit to an HIV test.

The Chinese government estimates that there are approximately 650,000 persons in China afflicted with HIV, although this figure is contested. In 2002, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS reported that there are approximately one million cases of HIV in China [report, PDF]. In February 2006, China issued regulations [JURIST report] prohibiting discrimination against persons infected by the virus and providing for free treatment. AP has more.