No evidence of HIV health tourism

The National AIDS Trust reports that:

“In 2006 60 per cent of new HIV diagnoses were of infections probably acquired abroad. 35 per cent of all adults living with HIV in the UK were born in Africa. … The majority of HIV-infected migrants have come from sub-Saharan Africa. …

  • “Research evidence shows that a desire to access particular benefits or healthcare provision is not a factor in migration patterns.
  • “Levels of HIV amongst migrants to the UK are in general significantly below HIV levels in their countries of origin.

“A 2002 Home Office report on the decision making of asylum seekers concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that asylum seekers had a detailed knowledge of the UK’s asylum policies or welfare benefits. The report found that the main reasons why people seek asylum to the UK, as opposed to another country, are their country’s historic, particularly colonial links with Britain, the presence of family and friends, and the fact that English is a global language. …

“In 2006, the latest year for which UK immigration data are available, almost 105 million people entered the UK, of whom 12.9 million were non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. The majority were short-term tourists: but 309,000 were students (45 per cent from Asia; 14 per cent from non-EEA Europe; and 8 per cent from Africa) and 145,000 had work permits, or were dependants of people with work permits (54 per cent from Asia; 24 per cent from the Americas; 9 per cent from Africa). …

” As the House of Commons Health Select Committee reported in 2005, “What little evidence exists in this area in fact seems to suggest that HIV tourism is not taking place. It suggests that HIV-positive migrants do not access NHS services until their disease is very advanced, usually many months or even years after their arrival in the UK, which would not be the expected behaviour of a cynical ‘health tourist’ who had come to this country solely to access free services.”

The full report The Myth of HIV Health Tourism is available here.

This entry was posted in global, migration, refugees/asylum, welfare/NHS. Bookmark the permalink.

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