28 Dec 2010

Exact number of people with HIV not known

3:23 pm on 28 December 2010

The Aids Foundation says official figures on new immigrants with HIV Aids could be distorted by as much as a third.

The foundation's outgoing executive director, Rachael le Mesurier, says when a would-be immigrant is found to be HIV positive, their case is noted in statistics - even if their application to settle in New Zealand is subsequently rejected.

She says this confuses the planning for services to high-risk groups.

Ms le Mesurier says the Immigration Service, which does not keep statistics of this type, could record the number of HIV-positive people who are declined visas or residency.

She says this should be deducted from the total number of HIV diagnoses in New Zealand.