Medical examination

Hi Everyone

My name is Cindy and I'm currently preparing to go to Vietnam to teach.
I wanted to ask about the medical exam that has to be taken on arrival. If a person test positive for HIV will they not be allowed in the country? Will they be sent home?

If anyone can shed light on this.. I would really appreciate it

Thank you

What medical exam?

If you are HIV infected, Vietnam might not be the best place to come as medical standards outside of the western clinics can be variable.

Alright thank you..

I thought maybe when you get there a medical exam/ medical check up is done...

Not as far as I know and I have lived here for several years now. An employer might want you to have a medical exam before offering you a contract of employment.

I had to have a psychiatric examination before they would let me marry a local - I don't know if they still require that. As I said to the shrink at the time, if I wasn't nuts I wouldn't be getting married. Again.

Hahaha... Thank you... this was really helpful....

If you want to work legally and get a Work Permit, then you you will need to have a medical. As far as HIV, thats something I not sure about.

Hi Cindyn, welcome to the forum,

Rest assured, no medical test will be done at the airport upon arrival.

As Colin said, your employer in Vietnam  may later ask you to do a mandatory medical/health check from a local hospital/clinic. This is required for your Work Permit application.

That health check, AFAIK, doesn't include HIV test.

All the best!

Actually my health exam for WP, in 2013, had a section in the summary that includes HIV, HBsAg (active Hep B) and ký sinh chòe sốt rét (parasitic Malaria.)  Actually, in their active form the latter two demand immediate treatment.   What happens if one were positive for any of these, I have no idea but I suspect they might be disqualifying .  I don't think the clinic passes or fails you.  That is left to DOLISA, the agency that grants the permit.  In the US the only prohibitive disease for employment of teachers that I know of is Tuberculosis which the Vietnamese exam also tests by X-ray.

Cut the crap

with HiV - u will never get anything other than a tourist visa

any1 WiTh hiv/ AIDS WILL NOT GET A VISA - in asia

in UK - you get free treatment, the whole schebang - all paid for by me and my family.

Hiv-ridden kid gets citizenship too

how cute

I am looking at the scanned copies of my two recent (2016 & 2017) WP health checks (I changed job),  .... one from a Govt hospital and the other from Care 1, Family Medical .... none of these reports has HIV test mentioned in the blood test section.

That said, they will definitely ask you if you ever had any serious disease or infection etc.
How you handle that question is entirely up to you and they may then ask for additional test if needed.

Also, much depends on your employer as well. If s/he is sensitive about this HIV issue, s/he can ask you to go for an additional HIV test.

Here's what the law has to say about this:
Health check-up for work permit: HIV testing result is required?

I quote from the article above:

Under the applicable laws, the HIV testing is conducted on the basis of voluntariness of the person to be tested and the compulsory HIV testing in the specific cases required by the laws.
The employee has the right to refuse this test. The employer may not request a job applicant to have an HIV test or produce an HIV test result, or refuse to recruit a person on the ground that such person is infected with HIV, except for the case specified by this Law.

It seems that in the three years between my exam and senwl's, Vietnam adopted a more reasonable stance on HIV.  I was wondering if the Hep B test and the malaria test are still given. 

Although Hep B is blood borne like HIV, I believe it can survive outside the body for longer. HBsAg is the market for active disease.  There are other markers for the inactive stage.  I would think that positive HBsAg readings should properly keep teachers from working until the active disease is brought under control and goes into the inactive stage.  Then they should be eligible to work. 

The malaria test is confusing.  Although malaria is no longer as prevalent in Vietnam as it used to be, I can't help but think that some number of local teachers could be carriers.  If anyone was a carrier and had a relapse, which can happen, they would surely be staying home from work anyway.


It's prolly true, VN may have changed their stance on HIV in recent years.
Back in 2010 when I did my then-WP medical check from SOS, Hanoi, as far as I can remember, HIV and Hep B tests were part of the regulation blood test.
We had to do an annual health check every year, and yes, those two tests were very much there.
I am bit surprised that in the recent report (from Care1) they only put my CBC (complete blood count) and Bio-chemistry test results, nothing else. As simple as that.
Regarding malaria test, I don't think I ever did it.

senwl :

Regarding malaria test, I don't think I ever did it.

Interesting.  Perhaps it is a thing only in the south.  Still, what would they do if you were a positive latent carrier?  It would make no sense to exclude such people from work.  Malaria stays with you for life but infected people are not contagious person-to-person, which means that exposure to a latent teacher or co-worker would be no greater than it would be walking down the street. The mosquito, which flies and bites at night, has to bite you.  Also, if you have already had malaria, you probably already know.

One thing that is true is that if you test positive for malaria, you should not give blood.


what would they do if you were a positive latent carrier?  It would make no sense to exclude such people from work.  Malaria stays with you for life but infected people are not contagious person-to-person, which means that exposure to a latent teacher or co-worker would be no greater than it would be walking down the street.

Honestly, I haven't heard anyone (local or expat) asked to do a Malaria test as part of work related health check-up in VN. Unless the person shows visible symptoms of Malaria it may have little to do with his/her employment (in most jobs).
Same is true for many viral diseases. Chicken Pox virus stays dormant in the nerve cells of a former patient for the rest of his/her life. It's only when they are reactivated as Shingles they become contagious.

Maybe the malaria check was just something that the hospital threw in free.  We seem to agree that a malaria check in an employment physical makes no sense, but it is right there on my 2013 report.  I took my physical at Tong Nhat Hospital in Tan Binh, HCMC.

Apart from those common medical tests I think hospitals just throw in a few extra ones of their choice.

When I talked to my Filipino Dr. in Care 1, she said, the most important statement in your WP Health Report is the final declaration on whether you are fit to work or not.... and the Category (1 to 5) of your overall health.

She went on to add, even those in Category 3 or 4 get their WPs. I wonder if the Labour Dept. at all checks the details.  As long as it's marked "satisfactory" and done from one of those Govt. approved hospitals, it's ok.

As I mentioned earlier, much depends on the employer as well. Most corporate employers tie up with (or send their employees to) one particular hospital/clinic of their choice. Many private and Intl. hospitals will ask you for which organization (employer) you need this WP health check. Depending on your employer they might throw in a few extra tests.

- Care1: corporate-medical-check-ups-for-employees/
- Care 1: WP health check form
If you compare these two links (above), you will see that the general WP one has very basic requirements.

Also, the Care1 WP Form mentions a certain Circular issued in May 2013 in its heading.
I wonder if you had done your medical check before that circular became effective.

They just keep changing things too often...  :huh:

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