Immigration Bill Could Undermine HIV/AIDS Diagnoses In Immigrant Communities

10th October 2013

Immigration Bill Could Undermine HIV/AIDS Diagnoses In Immigrant Communities

Responding to the publication of the Immigration Bill today, which will require immigration checks before anyone can access a GP, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV/AIDs has warned it could pose serious risks to public health and the spread of HIV/AIDs in the UK.

Pamela Nash MP, Chair of the APPG on HIV/AIDs, said:

“There is a serious risk to public health with regards to HIV/AIDS if a barrier is erected between migrant communities and access to a GP. Evidence shows that migrants are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV by their GP.

“Many studies highlight that more than half of new HIV infections are passed on by people who are undiagnosed; and encouraging GPs to carry out immigration checks sends out entirely the wrong message, and could be counterproductive.

“The Government must listen to concerns from health professionals and HIV experts, as this Bill could have a grave effect on tackling the numbers of late diagnoses in migrant communities; leading to potentially disastrous implications for public health.”

ENDS

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