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MPs urged to reject amendment to refuse visas to people living with HIV.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

NAT (National AIDS Trust) has called on MPs to reject an amendment to the Immigration Bill which would stop people living with HIV being issued visas to come to the UK.

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive, says:

"This amendment shows that there remains a shameful lack of understanding about HIV among some of our elected representatives. 

 "UNAIDS has shown conclusively that entry restrictions on people living with HIV do not protect public health and are a wasteful diversion in the fight against HIV.   And far from being ‘drains’ on the public purse – as this amendment seems to suggest - people living with HIV contribute hugely to the UK's society and economy.

 "The UK has for 30 years resisted entry restrictions and to introduce them at this stage would set us squarely against the international trend to overturn such rules.  This is HIV prejudice in its purest form. 

"If these MPs are really interested in protecting public health through immigration policy, they would oppose the current Department of Health plans to limit migrant access to primary care services, which are vital for disease prevention and early treatment.   They would support efforts to reduce the unacceptable high rates of late and undiagnosed HIV in our community."

Notes to the editor:

1. NAT have issued a joint policy briefing with THT for MPs on these issues, and why this new clause is so unacceptable.

2. Dr Philip Lee MP has tabled the following new clause (NC21) to the Immigration Bill which reaches Report Stage today (30 January). 

To move the following Clause:— 

‘(1) The Secretary of State may by order provide that persons who apply for immigration permission must demonstrate that they are not carriers of any of theprescribed pathogens listed in subsection (2).

(2) The prescribed pathogens are—

(a) Hepatitis B;

(b) HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus);

(c) such other pathogens as the Secretary of State may prescribe by order under this section.’.

The following MPs have also signed the amendment: Stephen Phillips; Stephen Barclay; Tracey Crouch; Mr Dominic Raab; Mr Graham Brady; Charlotte Leslie; Mark Field; Nigel Mills; Mr Jonathan Djanogly; Chris Kelly; Bob Blackman; Jonathan Lord; Craig Whittaker; Conor Burns; Karl McCartney; Sir Gerald Howarth; Dr Sarah Wollaston.

3. NAT's original briefing on the Report Stage of the Immigration Bill is also available to download.

NAT Topic