Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
India to Bar Foreigners With HIV From Entering Country
Indian officials will begin barring individuals with HIV from entering the country within the next few months, according to Health and Family Welfare Minister C.P. Thakur, the South China Morning Post reports. Upon entering India, visitors will have to produce medical records stating that they are not infected with the virus. If they are HIV-positive, they will not be allowed to travel in the country, Thakur said, citing as the basis for the new policy a recent report that found that "contacts with foreigners are responsible for the sharp rise in HIV cases" in India. He noted that North Korea tests citizens for HIV before and after traveling abroad. The policy does not have to go to Parliament, as the Health Ministry has the authority to pass rules after ministerial consultation. Thakur said that HIV/AIDS is the "most serious health problem in India," with nearly four million HIV cases reported and another 23 infections estimated to occur every minute. Experts warn that without an AIDS vaccine, the progression of HIV/AIDS will only worsen because AIDS drugs are too expensive for most Indians. In addition, the high prevalence of
tuberculosis -- India accounts for about 25% of the world's TB cases -- complicates efforts to battle HIV/AIDS because both diseases are known to "spee[d] up the progress of the other." TB is responsible for about one-third of AIDS-related deaths worldwide and 40% of all deaths in Asia (Abdi, South China Morning Post, 3/13).
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