India lifts HIV related questions in visa forms

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Bangalore, Nov 26: India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has clarified that there are no travel or residency restrictions for people living with HIV (PLHIV) coming to India.

MEA has sent an an official e-mail to all its Embassies and Consulates asking them to remove the requirement for HIV testing from all the visa forms. The latest move came after a Parliamentary Question regarding the issue.

On Apr 15, 2010 Rajya Sabha MP and State Organiser of the Forum of Parliamentarians on HIV & AIDS (FPA) Dr EM Sudarsana Natchiappan raised the issue in Parliament.

Welcoming the initiative from MEA, Oscar Fernandes, Rajya Sabha MP and President, FPA said, "I am pleased that India has clarified its position to lift HIV related travel restrictions".

Earlier, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had earlier withdrawn the requirement for HIV testing of foreigners, including foreign students. The latest move from MEA will ensure that HIV related questions will not be asked on any visa application forms.

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