- Advocates say some immigrants are postponing HIV testing for fear it could interfere with visa applications.
- Data show that immigrants are more likely to have a late-stage HIV diagnosis.
- The immigration minister said Australia’s migrant health requirements did not meet community expectations.
“We see this almost every week in personal decisions to intervene in the visa system through ministerial intervention.”
“Since coming to government, I have worked with industry experts on this issue and listened to people with first-hand experience, including at the recent HIV Task Force meeting. [Health] Minister Mark Butler,” he said.
Immigration and HIV stigma
Born in sub-Saharan Africa, she came to Australia in 2009 to work as a registered nurse in a regional Australian hospital, working in an area of severe skills shortage.
“It was a shock. I never expected to receive an HIV-positive diagnosis,” she said.
Ossie’s Journey to Permanent Residency
“I felt unwanted. [of the notification] That in itself was a blow. When he was informed of his results on December 24th, just before Christmas, he felt himself devalued. Our Christmas has been ruined. “
“We are investigating why the letter was not automatically sent to your immigration agent.”
Visa barriers for people living with HIV
An alternative to overcoming the health criteria requirement is to seek a health exemption that can be applied for a limited number of visa subcategories. These include next-of-kin visas, humanitarian visas and business visas.
“A very quick solution might be to amend the threshold for significant costs so that people living with HIV can continue to get visas. For example, if the threshold for significant costs were raised to say $180,000, everyone living with HIV would be able to obtain permanent residency,” she said.
Proponents call for changes to visa rules for HIV-infected immigrants
Warnings and waivers allow immigration policies to continue.
Fear keeps people from getting tested
“There are problems with this system and we continue to argue with the Australian government to make it clear that anyone in Australia can be tested for HIV and that this does not prevent them from applying for permanent residency.”
“We need to ensure timely and accessible testing. So this could mean things like self-testing. It could mean modifying services to make them culturally appropriate. It could also mean more funding for sexual health services that are very difficult to get an appointment with at the moment.”
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/australias-migration-health-rules-fail-to-meet-community-standards-minister-says/ouazwfulm Visa rules for HIV-positive people do not meet community standards, minister says