Singapore lifts ban on HIV positive visitors

Singapore has lifted its 20-year ban on HIV positive visitors but will limit their stay to three months.

The ban was lifted on 1 April but only made public on Monday (31 August).

‘Given the current context with more than 5,000 Singapore residents living with HIV and the availability of effective treatment for the disease,’ a health ministry spokesperson said.

‘The policy on the repatriation and permanent blacklisting of HIV positive foreigners was recommended in the late 1980s when the disease was new, fatal and no effective treatment was available.’

The three-month restriction is meant to prevent foreigners with HIV from taking up residence in the Lion city.

The spokesperson said a short-term visit ‘poses very low additional risk of HIV transmission to the local population.

‘However, the public health risk posed by long-stayers is not insignificant, hence the restriction on long-term visits has been retained.’

He added that Australia and New Zealand have similar restrictions on long-term visitors with HIV.

According to Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, 30 countries still force HIV positive foreigners to leave.