MELBOURNE, April 13 (UPI) -- Australian Prime Minister John Howard said people who are HIV positive should not be allowed to immigrate to Australia.
Speaking during a talk show on Southern Cross Radio in Melbourne, Howard said, "I would like to get more counsel and advice" but his initial reaction on allowing HIV positive migrants into Australia was "No."
"There may be some humanitarian concerns that could temper that in certain cases but prima facie, no," he said.
Howard was commenting on a Victorian state health department report that found an increase in the number of HIV positive people moving to the southern Australian state.
Victorian AIDS Council spokesman Michael Kennedy, however, told a news conference that of the 334 new HIV cases reported in Victoria last year, 50 were diagnosed interstate and 20 were diagnosed overseas.
"But of those 20, 11 of them were born in Australia or New Zealand and have an automatic right of entry, so the biggest number (of migrants) we're talking about here is nine," Kennedy said.