The Korea Times reported today that the Ministry of Health and Welfare has decided to scrap HIV tests for foreigners "seeking to acquire an entertainer's E-6 visa, and workers renewing their E-9 visas." It goes on to say that "...the tests will still be reuqired of those seeking E-2 language teaching visas."
That's right. They've done away with HIV tests for everyone except for teachers.
Let's look for a moment at the E-6 visa, known as the "entertainment visa." This visa is given to singers, dancers, musicians, professional athletes, and BAR WORKERS. I don't think that I need to tell you that many of the foreign "bar workers" in Korea are involved in A LOT MORE than pouring drinks. Just go to any of the Filipino joints on Texas street and have a chat with any of the girls working the floor. I'm sure you'd have no problem negotiating an after-work encounter - for a price.
So... the government, in its wisdom, had decide to waive the HIV tests for prostitutes, but keep them in place for teachers. That makes a lot of sense.
(INSERT SHOTGUN BARREL TO THE MOUTH, NOW)
To add shit to the dung pile, Ministry official Jeong Eun-gyeong is quoted as saying, "...HIV is not transmitted through air or water, but through human contact most of the time." That's right, folks, evidently twelve blow jobs a night doesn't quite qualify as "human contact." Later on in the article they quote an unnamed official who says, "Education is considered a very intimate relationship... it's just intended to reassure the parents." I really don't blame them here; I once heard that a child was infected with HIV through playing "hangman."
So according to the government, the fear of dirty foreign teachers somehow infecting their students through AIDS osmosis trumps actual hookers sleeping with hundreds of men a year, as far as public health is concerned.
Can Kim Jong-il just go ahead and nuke this place once and for all?