Singapore opens door

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08 Sep 2015

HIV-positive people may now enter Singapore — but their stay will be limited to a maximum period of three months. Up until recently, Singapore enforced a blanket ban on HIV-positive people entering the country. Now, the short-stay Social Visa Pass is available to all visitors, regardless of HIV status. The ban on HIV-positive people seeking work permits or permanent residency still exists, however, as “the public health risk posed by long-stayers is not insignificant”, said a health ministry spokesman.   

While welcoming the repeal of the short-term entry ban, Roy Chan, president of Singapore organisation Action for AIDS, said more needed to be done. “While things have improved slightly, we cannot forget that many [PLHIV] are still being asked to leave their jobs and are ostracised by friends and family. We need a supportive environment that does not discriminate against a person because he or she is HIV infected.”