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Thread: Australian PM: Ban AIDS immigrants

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Exclamation Australian PM: Ban AIDS immigrants

    what is with this guy?!

    Australian PM: Ban AIDS immigrants
    Story Highlights
    • Howard: Keep out immigrants with HIV
    • Comments triggered anger among AIDS workers
    • Many countries, including the United States, impose medical restrictions


    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Prime Minister John Howard said Friday that people with the AIDS virus should not be allowed to migrate to Australia, and that the government was investigating whether it could tighten existing restrictions.

    The comments triggered anger among AIDS workers, who accused Howard of xenophobia and of blaming sufferers for their illness.

    Asked in a radio interview whether people with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, should be allowed into Australia as migrants or refugees, Howard said he would like to take "more counsel" on the issue, but added, "My initial reaction is no."

    He said that there may be "humanitarian considerations" in certain cases.

    "I think we should have the most stringent possible conditions in relation to that nationwide, and I know the health minister is concerned about that and is examining ways of tightening things up," Howard said.

    Howard was asked about the issue during a visit to Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, where the state health minister said this week that 70 of the 334 new HIV infection cases reported in Victoria in 2006 were among immigrants who had arrived in the country with the virus.

    Don Baxter of the nongovernmental group the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations said HIV tests were already among health checks prospective immigrants were given, and most HIV-positive applicants were rejected on the grounds that they could pose an unfair burden on the public health system.

    "It's very tight already," Baxter told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. Dr. Chris Lemoh, an infectious disease specialist who is working on a doctorate on the spread of AIDS among African immigrants in Victoria, said excluding people with HIV should be condemned.

    "It's a hysterical overreaction, it mixes racism with a phobia about infectious disease," he said. "To not allow people to come on the basis of any health condition is immoral, it's unethical and it's impractical to enforce."

    Many countries, including the United States, impose restrictions on immigration and visa approvals for people with HIV, though there are often exceptions in special cases.

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



    Find this article at:
    Australian PM: Ban AIDS immigrants - CNN.com

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    Elite Member DoveFeatheredRaven's Avatar
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    I saw public health system mentioned---Does Australia provide free healthcare for its citizens like Britain does? If so, would these immigrants be eligible for it? Assuming the answer to those questions is yes, I can see where the government would be concerned. The potential expense were there many HIV-positive immigrants could be staggering.

    But if not, I am not sure what the issue is. We know how the HIV virus is spread and the average person with normal contact isn't put in any danger.

    As far as what that one doctor said, I think most people have a healthy fear of contracting HIV. I don't think this is racism. If most of the immigrants are from Africa, it is coincidence. I don't think this is a racist fear, it isn't because they are black. It is fear of a scary and deadly disease.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yeah, the first thing in my head was "the gov is concerned about potential drainage of the system".

    The more people who have it, the more will spread it. The more who have it, the more that will require medical attention.
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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    I remember seeing on the news some folks were denied immigration to Canada for having AIDS and cancer (separate cases).

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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    Elite Member VenusInFauxFurs's Avatar
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    My initial thought was as Grimmlock's. The Government is probably thinking of the cost of treatment etc and how that will fly with Medicare. Purely financial reasons was my first thought.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    yeah like how anti-immigration ppl say they're trying to safeguard the country from terrorists?! I dont think so. I think its the same racist b.s. to some degree.

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    The ones I saw on the news about being denied a move to Canada, they were Americans.

    I don't necessarily think the policy is racist or homophobic, cuz AIDS affects and infects anyone of any race and sexual orientation, I'd agree it's about $$$ on healthcare.

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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    Elite Member VenusInFauxFurs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moomies View Post
    The ones I saw on the news about being denied a move to Canada, they were Americans.
    In order to get my US green card, I had to take a test so the government could know my HIV status. I'm assuming that the US denies people living with HIV/AIDS immigration also.

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    Eli
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    Silly naive Howard. One day he'll wake up. In the mean time, let's all laugh and scoff in his direction, so that when he does realise he will be utterly embarrassed.

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    Silver Member ChangingEventually's Avatar
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    I think it`s more about money than anything else.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    ^ yeah thats true, isnt that the driving force behind most govt. policy

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    A*O
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    Yes, Australia has a (mostly) free public healthcare system and yes this is about adding people to that system who have contributed nothing towards it so far. When we migrated to Australia we had to undergo some very stringent medical tests, including HIV, with the understanding that if we failed the medicals we weren't going to get in. I didn't have a problem with it then and I don't have a problem with it now. This isn't a 'new' policy - it's always been the case with migrants wishing to come and live her and benefit from the Australian health/welfare system. People with TB, serious chronic diseases, hepatatis, etc are subject to the same rule. It's not discriminatory and it's certainly not 'racist'.

    Other countries, including America, Land Of The Free, have just as many rules and regulations about people wanting to migrate there. There certainly isn't an Open Door policy, especially for people who are sick, possibly unable to work and with few financial resources.
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    Silver Member ChangingEventually's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Yes, Australia has a (mostly) free public healthcare system and yes this is about adding people to that system who have contributed nothing towards it so far. When we migrated to Australia we had to undergo some very stringent medical tests, including HIV, with the understanding that if we failed the medicals we weren't going to get in. I didn't have a problem with it then and I don't have a problem with it now. This isn't a 'new' policy - it's always been the case with migrants wishing to come and live her and benefit from the Australian health/welfare system. People with TB, serious chronic diseases, hepatatis, etc are subject to the same rule. It's not discriminatory and it's certainly not 'racist'.

    Other countries, including America, Land Of The Free, have just as many rules and regulations about people wanting to migrate there. There certainly isn't an Open Door policy, especially for people who are sick, possibly unable to work and with few financial resources.
    Exactly. Many people get denied to the US for the same reasons that they`d get denied to Australia for. It doesn`t matter if they`re from Africa, Asia, Europe, where ever.

    But one thing that irks me is why have a free healthcare system if everyone`s healthy and no one can benefit from it?

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    A*O
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    Not everybody is healthy - far from it. But we PAY for our 'free' health system via taxes. People are also free to get private health insurance if they wish to pay 'twice' for their healthcare. We still have to contribute to the public system even if we don't use it.
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    You can be generally healthy and still sustain injuries and be ill occasionally. Nobody is in perfect health 100 per cent of the time.

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