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Australia should refuse to allow migrants or refugees with HIV to enter the country, Prime Minister John Howard has said.
Mr Howard said there may be special cases when an exemption could be considered but as a rule HIV-positive people should be denied entry.
Mr Howard was asked about the issue during a visit to Victoria state, which has seen a sharp rise in HIV cases.
Any ban for migrants with HIV/Aids would need a change in the federal law.
Mr Howard, on a visit to Melbourne, told a local radio station he wanted to seek more advice on the issue, but said his gut feeling was that HIV sufferers should not be allowed in to the country.
"My initial reaction is no," he said. "There may be some humanitarian considerations that could temper that in certain cases, but, prime facie - no."