Government lobby pushes for HIV care for asylum seekers

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Aids has called on the voluntary sector to continue lobbying the Government to improve the lot of asylum seekers and migrants with HIV.

A report published by the group last week found that the Government's current position is largely based on public opinion rather than factual evidence, and that the immigration system exacerbates poor health and serious communicable diseases such as HIV.

The report also attacks mandatory HIV testing for all migrants so that those in poor health can be refused entry, a possibility that has been mooted by the Government.

"Mandatory testing as part of immigration control is only likely to drive the epidemic underground," said Thomas Yocum, spokesman for the National Aids Trust, one of the charities that advised the All-Party Group.

The report will now be circulated to MPs, and the group will follow up the inquiry recommendations with the Government.

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