New Zealand Government May Require HIV Testing for Immigrants
The New Zealand government may test all immigrants for HIV as part of its health screening policy for immigrants, the New Zealand Press Association reports. New Zealand currently requests tuberculosis testing for immigrants applying for temporary or permanent residency, and HIV/AIDS status is self-reported. According to Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel, government officials feel that the health screening policy for immigrants is "out of date" and have decided to review the policy. Dalziel added that compulsory HIV testing is "one of the possibilities being considered as part of the review," which is scheduled to be completed later this year. She said that HIV-positive immigrants are "not automatically ineligible" for residency in New Zealand, but added that HIV testing would aim to determine "whether they were likely to become a burden on the public health system." The New Zealand Press Association reports that the government has "com[e] under fire" for allowing immigrants into the country without testing them for HIV "and other infectious diseases." Australia has tested residency applicants for HIV since 1989 (New Zealand Press Association, 9/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.