A group of British right-wing politicians wants to ban immigrants with HIV from entering the UK, a move branded ‘draconian’ by campaigners.
Dr Philip Lee, a Conservative member of parliament for Bracknell, has put forward an amendment to the Immigration Bill stating anyone wanting to enter the country must state whether they have HIV or Hepatitis B.
On Twitter, he said: ‘I’ve placed an amendment to tomorrow’s Immigration Bill calling for migrants to confirm their Hepatitis B status before permission to enter’
One user asked the Tory MP if this would include HIV and he said yes.
‘HIV and Hep B (and others) are both blood-borne viruses and therefore should be treated as such,’ he said.
It is reported 17 other Conservative MPs back the proposed amendment including Stephen Barclay, Tracey Crouch and Dr Sarah Wollaston.
The NC21 proposal has since been met with fierce opposition from AIDS campaigners.
Daisy Ellis, Head of Parliamentary & Public Affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: ‘It’s outrageous that a group of MPs are even proposing such an un-evidenced amendment.
‘If implemented, it would represent the most draconian policy enforced on people with HIV by this country to date. It is to the UK’s credit that it’s Government, whatever its political stamp, has consistently refused throughout the past 30 years to put in place HIV-related border controls.
‘Such a poorly thought through about-face would take UK HIV policy into a new Dark Age.’
Deborah Jack, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust added: ‘The UK has for 30 years resisted entry restrictions and to introduce them at this stage would set us squarely against the international trend to overturn such rules.
‘This is HIV prejudice in its purest form.’
According to the United Nations, nearly 60 countries deny entry to those infected with HIV.