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Friday 1 September 2006
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ZIMBABWE: New Zealand gives amnesty to HIV-positive Zimbabweans

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

NAIROBI, 31 August (PLUSNEWS) - The government of New Zealand has urged hundreds of Zimbabwean refugees who fear they may be HIV-positive to take advantage of a special scheme granting them permanent residence despite their sero-status.

New Zealand Health Minister Pete Hodgson and Immigration Minister David Cunliffe reassured the refugees on Tuesday that their health status would not be taken into account, as long as they met other criteria for residency, according to the New Zealand Herald newspaper. Compulsory health screening is part of the country's immigration requirements.

"We are doing this because it's the right thing to do to protect the health of New Zealanders, and of those Zimbabweans seeking to become New Zealanders," said Hodgson.

Of 1,300 Zimbabwean migrants currently in New Zealand, 500 have applied for permanent residence, with 42 applicants found to be HIV-positive. The special residency scheme, which came into effect in 2005, applies to Zimbabweans who arrived in New Zealand on humanitarian grounds before October 2004 and expires on 28 February 2007.



Recent ZIMBABWE Reports
Govt policies hampering AIDS efforts,  1/Aug/06
Rising child malnutrition signals impact of poverty/AIDS,  10/May/06
HIV-positive people floundering as economy sinks,  10/May/06
Rising child malnutrition signals impact of poverty/AIDS ,  10/May/06
Adult population to die before age 40, says UN report,  7/Apr/06
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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