The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has asked all its embassies and consulates to remove travel and residency restrictions for people with HIV and AIDS coming to India.
Although India had withdrawn the requirement for HIV testing of foreigners in 2002 after a Union health ministry notification, some Indian embassies and consulates continued to display the requirement of an HIV test certificate on their websites and visa forms.
In an official e-mail, the MEA asked all its offices to remove the requirement. According to the email, no HIV- or AIDS-related questions can now be asked on any visa application.
"The MEA directive will ensure that HIV-related questions will not be asked or testing required," said Navneet Tewatia, coordinator with the Forum of Parliamentarians on HIV and AIDS. "The US and China lifted their travel restrictions recently, a move that was welcomed by human rights groups internationally."