BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- China is considering overturning the ban that prohibits HIV-positive foreigners from entering the country, an official said here Friday.
"We are discussing lifting the ban as soon as possible," Hao Yang, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Health's Bureau of Disease Control, told Xinhua.
Hao made the remarks when responding to a question concerning media reports that Robert Dessaix, an HIV-positive Australian writer, has been denied a visa recently to attend the International Literary Festival in Shanghai.
"Such a ban was put into effect in a time when we knew little about AIDS. Now that we have realized it is unnecessary, it is time for us to lift it," he said at a meeting of the Red Ribbon Foundation (RRF), a fund that helps AIDS patients.
Hao did not say specifically when the ban would be lifted, but said "it won't be long."
"Attitude toward AIDS is a good indicator of a society's openness and confidence. China is making progress in this field as awareness of the disease is growing rapidly among the people," said Huang Mengfu, president of RRF.