Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, November 10, 1999 Published at 18:45 GMT


World: Asia-Pacific

Row over compulsory New Zealand Aids tests

New Zealand set to introduce controversial aids testing

By BBC East Asia reporter Clare Arthurs

The government in New Zealand says it will introduce compulsory HIV-Aids testing for immigrants from next year.

The decision has attracted protests from government departments, including the health department, which says there's no evidence of the spread of the illness from immigrants.

Community health and refugee groups have condemned the decision, saying New Zealand should be more humanitarian.

New Zealand already tests new arrivals for tuberculosis and syphilis. Now it wants to keep out people who have HIV, the virus which leads to Aids, arguing that New Zealand can't afford to take on the problems of the world.

Last year almost half of the HIV cases identified in New Zealand were refugees. The government says it will combine the test with existing health checks.

It will apply to anyone wanting to enter New Zealand for more than two years, including refugees, immigrants and students.

Unanimous opposition

The Cabinet decision has been received with almost unanimous opposition from government advisers.

Ministries, including health and justice, say the test is unnecessary and discriminatory.

They have been backed by Aids groups who say the only way to protect the health of the local community is to promote safe sex practices.

And the national refugee centre says the test will create more trauma for people who are already vulnerable.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

10 Nov 99 | South Asia
India 'will be top Aids nation'

04 Nov 99 | Aids
Women demand HIV strategy

04 Nov 99 | Aids
Aids up close

03 Nov 99 | Health
HIV treatment rejuvenates immune system





Internet Links


New Zealand National Health Committee

UNAIDS website

New Zealand Aids Foundation


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques