China plans to relax rules that are currently barring HIV/AIDS carriers from entering the country, the health ministry said on Monday.
Ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an said the decision was based on current knowledge of the way the AIDS virus spreads.
He said the existing restrictions, strongly criticised by AIDS activists as discriminatory, were introduced when people were "unfamiliar" with how the disease may spread.
Mao did not disclose when the new rules would take effect, or if the relaxation would mean a complete end to limits on HIV/AIDS carriers' entry into China.
China had 650,000 HIV/AIDS patients according to an estimate put forward jointly by the government and United Nations health agencies in January 2006.
Mao said the government would release its latest estimate of the number of people having HIV/AIDS in China at the end of November.