IAS conference in Sydney will go ahead despite Howard’s latest comments on HIV-positive migrants

by Michael Carter, Monday, June 04, 2007, www.aidsmap.com
Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, repeated his belief on June 1st that HIV-positive migrants and refugees should be barred from entry to Australia. His comments brought a swift condemnation from the International AIDS Society (IAS), whose biannual conference will be held in Sydney this July. However, in a press statement, the IAS said that it will not be cancelling the conference, and hopes that the event will act as a focus of opposition to Howard’s plans. Dr Pedro Cahn, president of the IAS said Howard’s comments were “a blatant disregard of basic human rights, and only serve to compound current HIV prevention and treatment efforts.

Howard initially said he supported a ban on HIV-positive migrants entering Australia in Australia in April. At the time, his comments were prompted by a report showing that there had been a significant increase in HIV diagnoses in the Australian state of Victoria. Although some of these new HIV cases involved immigrants, most were due to internal migration. It is thought that Howard either confused internal migration with immigration, or that his comments were a political move, designed to underline his anti-immigration credentials, in advance of the Australian general election later this year.

Read the rest of this article at http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/8DE25288-C50F-48B1-BCB4-9E7D5378DD81.asp


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