Sunday, April 15, 2007

On AIDS and Immigration

PM Howard draws a line in the sand.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Prime Minister John Howard said Friday that people with HIV should not be allowed to migrate to Australia, and that the government was investigating whether it could tighten existing restrictions.
That sounds reasonable to me, but some are apparently pissed-off.
The comments triggered anger among HIV-AIDS workers, who accused Howard of xenophobia and of blaming sufferers for their illness.
That would be the typical reaction of lunatics and liberals. Sorry for being redundant.
"I think we should have the most stringent possible conditions in relation to that nationwide, and I know the health minister is concerned about that and is examining ways of tightening things up," Howard said.

Howard was asked about the issue during a visit to Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, where the state health minister said this week that 70 of the 334 new HIV infection cases reported in Victoria in 2006 were among immigrants who had arrived in the country with the virus.

Don Baxter of the nongovernment group the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations said HIV tests were already among health checks prospective immigrants were given, and most HIV-positive applicants were rejected on the grounds that they could pose an unfair burden on the public health system.

"It's very tight already," Baxter told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
It may be, Don, but 70 out of 334 is just over 20%, 1 out of 5. I'm sorry, but that is just way too much. How did those 70 slip through? I would agree that, at least in Victoria, there is certainly room to "tighten things up," but next up is a psychotic, self-loathing, suicidal dickhead who feeeeeeeels otherwise:
Chris Lemoh, an infectious disease specialist who is researching HIV-AIDS among African immigrants in Victoria, said excluding people with HIV should be condemned.
Oh, and why is that, Chris? Perhaps you don't want the flow of research subjects to dry-up. And speaking of research, just what kind of research? Is he an epidemiologist doing medical research, or is this "infectious disease specialist" a drug-addled, psychotic liberal performing some type of quasi-scientific, bullshit study under the auspices of the department of cultural anthropology at a university? I suspect that if he were the former, the AP would have referred to him as such (and that is not to imply that he is the latter.) Now, read more of what this genius has to say:
"It's a hysterical overreaction, it mixes racism with a phobia about infectious disease," he said. "To not allow people to come on the basis of any health condition is immoral, it's unethical and it's impractical to enforce."
WTF?
Can somebody, anybody, please, please, tell me what fucking planet people like this come from?!?!?!?! "Racism?" Why, because the probability that an immigrant with AIDS comes from Africa is higher than that of non-African immigrants? Get fucked. "Phobia about infectious diseases?" Most OSH agencies use the ISO paradigm of risk management: Eliminate, Isolate, Minimize. If we apply that standard to AIDS, we realize that since the probability of everybody on the planet not having sex and heroin addicts not sharing needles is as close to zero as one could get, the risk of getting AIDS cannot be eliminated, but there is a lot that can be done to minimize and isolate. Strict HIV testing for immigrants is one way, and most civilized countries do reserve the right to deny applicants based on a variety of health conditions as one way of preventing their societies from becoming third-world shit holes. As an immigrant to New Zealand I had to undergo a two hour doctor's exam, a chest x-ray, and a complete blood work-up in addition to a criminal background check. Big deal; it's part of what I consider to be part of any sane, reasonable process designed to protect the safety of the citizens of a nation. And isn't that really what a responsible leader is supposed to do? You try to help when you can, but not at the expense of the well-being of your own people. To do that would be immoral and unethical. Chris Lemoh is a jerk-off.

I'm guessing that many of these immigrants in question are not only African but also refugees brought in under some UN absorption aggreement. There is a similar situation here in NZ with Zimbabwean refugees.
Zimbabweans who fled the Robert Mugabe regime and fear they may be HIV-positive, will be eligible for permanent residency in New Zealand even if they have the disease.

Yesterday the Government urged hundreds of Zimbabweans who fled the Mugabe regime to come forward and apply for permanent residency under a special scheme set up for them, even though part of the process is compulsory health screening.
As usual, Helen Clark's government fucked-up.
Of 1300 migrants, 500 had applied and 800 had not. HIV infection in Zimbabwe is around 20 per cent. Of the 500, 42 were found to be HIV positive (8.4 per cent).

Of the 800 people so far avoiding the scheme, up to 160 could be infected using the higher estimate of 20 per cent, said Mr Hodgson.

It was unlikely all would require antiretroviral treatment but if they did, it could cost New Zealand taxpayers $2.9 million a year.

There are 2474 HIV-positive people living in New Zealand.
And that's not necessarily a problem unless they behave like this guy:
(Shingirayi) Nyarirangwe was convicted in 2004 of having unprotected sex with four women. At least one later tested positive for HIV.
Great. If this is the price people are willing to pay for some feel-good bullshit that defies all common sense and logic, then we're fucked, boys and girls.

PM Howard has every right to draw a line in the sand. To do otherwise would be negligent and a dereliction of duty.

5 Comments:

Blogger Tyler D. said...

"It's a hysterical overreaction, it mixes racism with a phobia about infectious disease," he said. "To not allow people to come on the basis of any health condition is immoral, it's unethical and it's impractical to enforce."

Um... isn't that HOW it is done?

8:17 PM GMT+12  
Blogger Tyler D. said...

or I should say why it is done.

8:18 PM GMT+12  
Blogger BobF said...

It seems along with Illegal immigrants being now a new race of people in the US, people with AIDS are now a race of people in Australia.

Years ago, people with infectious diseases were kept in quarenteen Signs were put up around houses to notify the public that a person with a infectious disease was on the premises. When I was a kid two of my friends got Whopping Cough. They had to go live at their grandfathers house till they were well. None of us were allowed to go see them and their siblings were kept away too.

10:56 AM GMT+12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet I cannot come and live in New Zealand I have no infectious diseases but my crime is age - I am 60. - never mind health discrimination age discrimination also seems to be practised by the immigration service

7:18 PM GMT+12  
Blogger Joe said...

Tyler, my thoughts exactly.

Bob, that was in a sane world. What we have now is...

Anonymous, I can empathize with your position. The only way I know of to get around it is if you have a child who is a resident or citizen of NZ, and you have no other children residing in your country of origin, you can emigrate to NZ. That is an option I'm considering for my mom.

9:46 PM GMT+12  

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