Stigma Against Foreigners with HIV Remains In Korea?

Test of foreigners applying to become English teachers in South Korea may have ended, but a stigma may remain according to this article:

And while organizations like the Korean Federation for AIDS Prevention provides foreigners with HIV/AIDS resources and free, anonymous testing, HIV-positive foreigners are vulnerable to deportation out of the country, as potential “persons carrying an epidemic disease, narcotic addicts or other persons deemed likely to cause danger and harm to the public health” defined in Article 11 of the Immigration Control Act.

According to Michael Solis, a visiting researcher at the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, the government had deported more than 500 foreigners who were HIV-positive as of 2007. Kwon said that in 2010, following UNAIDS criticism of South Korean travel restrictions, the government stopped banning and deporting foreign teachers with HIV. But for those who test positive, it remains difficult to afford treatment or be hired as teachers and educators, she added.

Stigma around foreigners and HIV/AIDS remains.  [Korea Expose]

You can read the rest at the link.



I am a US military veteran that has served all over the world to include in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. I have been blogging about Korea, Northeast Asia, and the US military for over 10 years.


  1. To be fair, “foreigners with HIV/AIDS” are not popular anywhere including the UN (although they revel in telling other folks how to act). Foreigners with HIV/AIDS are seen as “plague-carriers”, regardless of how they contracted the illness. And most people don’t relish the idea of slowly dying in horrible agony…

    It’s not about them being “bad people” either (or even LGBTAEIOUXYZ). Many are as moral as anyone else we know. One little mistake is all it takes. And the Bible literally states pride is as bad as any other sin, so we shouldn’t condemn them as immoral, even if we don’t want to import them.

    There remains the risk they pose to innocents who may not be aware of their infection: not all HIV-positive people tell their partners in voluntary body functions; and anyone, foreigner or not, with HIV/AIDS can contaminate healthcare and law enforcement personnel in addition to blood supplies.

    (Not to mention the foreigners really in question here, English teachers, are often in daily contact with children, who may not be as careful as well-educated adults.)

    It is, frankly, a senseless introduction of risk to ANY country. Everyone knows that. Even if the foreigner is “well-intentioned”.


    Proverbs 6:16-19 Amplified Bible (AMP)

    These six things the Lord hates;
    Indeed, seven are repulsive to Him:

    A proud look [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others], a lying tongue,
    And hands that shed innocent blood,

    A heart that creates wicked plans,
    Feet that run swiftly to evil,

    A false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths],
    And one who spreads discord (rumors) among brothers.

  2. If AIDS had been treated as a disease instead of a fear that a gay might get discriminated against in the 80s and 90s, this wouldn’t be as much of a topic of conversation.

    It seems the Korean gay community is very aware of HIV these days. There is education, free anonymous testing, and widespred cóndom use.

    The issue mau now be with with straight women who get HIV from (presumably) straight men who don’t like to use cöndoms and are likely unaware they are infected.

    There is substantially much less AIDS education/awateness/prevention in the straight community.

    Careless sex tourism has been a big driver of this.

    BTW: Last Saturday was Korea Queer Culture Festival (Gay Pride) in Seoul. I looked over a lot of event photos to find Smokes but he was probably in a bathroom stall somewhere with a wide stance.

    Source: I got this information from gay friends both Korean and foreign for which I host a house party once a month.

    (I added that last line for a shameless case of virtue signaling)

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