One issue facing Australia at present is not only the spread of HIV within Australia, but also the arrival of HIV infected individuals from other countries.
Recently the press has covered some concern about boat people arriving from Indonesia who are HIV positive. Not only do they pose a potential strain on the Australian health system but of course they pose an hiv infection risk to the Australian population. It is regrettable though that this is used as a negative to sway the argument against allowing asylumseekers into Australia. Instead we should be focussed on the awareness that is needed to protect the Australian population from HIV infected arrivals, regardless of their citizenship status. As far as numbers go, I am sure more Australian men have returned from Bali with an undiagnosed HIV infection than have HIV positive boat people. Whilst Indonesia is far from a model country in terms of its success in the fight against HIV and thorough HIV testing programmes, Bali in particular is a risk to Australia given the high number of HIV positive prostitutes who are frequented by Australian tourists. Perhaps instead of worrying about whether you are carrying a potentially infected apple with you as you pass border control, it would be wiser to question you about your sexual contact outside Australia and to implement HIV testing for at risk individuals (regardless of their citizenship). More HIV testing for at risk groups is the most effective way of detecting the HIV virus early, before it is allowed to spread.
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