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Malaysia tightens HIV screenings for foreign workers

Malaysia tightens HIV screenings for foreign workers

In a bid to control the spread of infectious diseases, including HIV, Malaysia has stepped up its health screenings of foreign workers, according to health minister Chua Soi. Beginning next month, migrant workers must be tested within a month of their arrival for HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, tuberculosis, leprosy, and other diseases. Chua said the new ruling would effectively eliminate unhealthy workers, since those with communicable diseases would be deported. Current Malaysian regulations require workers to provide medical certificates from their home countries and to undergo medical screening in Malaysia after one year, when applying for work permit extensions. "We fear the current requirement to undergo medical examination after a year was too long because by then they will have close contacts with the locals and possibly they may have passed on infectious diseases," Chua said. (AP)

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