Only happy when I screen
Aula Abbara looks at the arguments driving the government to rethink its policy in favour of screening immigrants for HIV before they set foot in the UK
- By: Aula Abbara, Nick Partridge
“This house believes that for the good of public health and funds, all immigrants should be screened for HIV.” This debate for medical students was held in the House of Commons where the motion was overwhelmingly defeated.
Ministers are currently debating this issue in parliament and current indications suggest that they are likely to vote in favour of the proposal. They have been looking at the procedures in place in Australia, Canada, the United States, and other countries where anyone seeking permanent residence is screened for HIV. A total of 47 countries in the world already ask prospective visitors to have an HIV test, which they have to pay for themselves. Current UK immigration procedures decree that immigration officers can refer people who appear to be in poor physical or mental health to a port medical inspector. People testing positive for HIV would not be barred from entering the United