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November 5, 2009

Activist Urges China to Lift Its HIV Travel Ban

Beijing-based antidiscrimination activist Lu Jun has issued a letter to China’s Ministry of Health requesting that officials honor their promise to revise laws preventing HIV-positive foreigners from entering the country, China Daily reports.

“Some foreigners with AIDS, hepatitis B and other diseases are worried that they will be denied a Chinese visa,” Lu said. “Our immigration laws are out-of-date, and they need to be updated on time.”

The Ministry of Health pledged in 2007 that it would lift its HIV entry ban. However, China remains among about a dozen countries that have such restrictions in place. According to China’s Implementation Rules of the Law on Control of the Entry & Exit of Aliens, enacted in 2004, foreigners with mental diseases, leprosy, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis or other communicable diseases are not allowed to enter China.

According to the article, foreigners who want to live in China for more than a year are required to take a physical, which includes an HIV test. People staying in the country for less than a year are only required to fill out paperwork and self-report any preexisting conditions.

While the United States had an HIV travel ban in place for more than two decades, President Barack Obama announced October 30 that it would be lifted in 2010.

Search: China, travel ban, Lu Jun, hepatitis, Beijing, Obama

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