Immigration medical screening and HIV infection in Canada
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HIV infection, particularly associated with AIDS, is often used by migrant screening nations to exclude entry into the country. The unique feature of the Canadian immigration HIV screening programme is that it was not primarily for determining inadmissibility of HIV-positive applicants, but for health promotion and disease prevention purposes. All applicants over 15 years of age for permanent residency or temporary residency from designated countries are HIV antibody tested. This includes persons seeking asylum from within Canada. The highest rates of HIV infection were found in migrant applicants from high prevalence areas of the world and reflected the demographic profile of the source region (predominately women). The majorities of HIV-positive persons are exempt from exclusion from Canada due to class of application (refugee, family) or are already in Canada (refugee claimant). Significant issues in notification, reporting and programme management have been identified as a consequence of this programme.
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