PEKING — China is expected to pass a law that may force foreigners entering the country for more than six months to undergo medical examinations for AIDS and other diseases, China Daily newspaper said Monday.
Chinese health officials are believed to be extremely concerned about the introduction of AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, by foreign visitors.
An Argentine tourist who died of the incurable disease while visiting China in June, 1985, is the only known case in the country.
A draft law that may require the examinations for foreigners will be submitted to the National People's Congress for approval later this week.
"It is intended to prevent infectious diseases from spreading both inside and outside China from seaports, airports and exit and entry stations along borders," China Daily said.
The newspaper said that under the new law, a "close watch" would be kept for AIDS, venereal diseases, tuberculosis and other afflictions that are either unknown in the country or have never reached epidemic proportions.
In the United States, homosexuals are most at risk of contracting AIDS, followed by intravenous drug abusers. Because drug abuse and homosexuality are reported to be rare in China, authorities have concentrated on preventing the entry of AIDS through other channels.
Last year, the Ministry of Public Health announced that it was virtually halting the import of blood products, except for a small quantity of rare blood products.