Immigrant advocacy organizations and immigration lawyers have asked federal officials to exempt illegal immigrants eligible for amnesty from a proposed plan to deny visas to immigrants infected with AIDS.

The organizations asked officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to allow AIDS-infected immigrants seeking amnesty under the new immigration law to obtain permanent residence if they complete a voluntary AIDS education and prevention program.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome was added a month ago to the list of eight "dangerous contagious diseases" that constitute medical reasons for denying an immigrant a permanent residence visa.

A proposed rule issued by the U.S. Public Health Service would require a negative blood test for antibodies to the virus as a requirement for all new immigrants to this country, including those who have lived in the United States since Jan. 1, 1982, and qualify for the amnesty program.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register by the end of the month, and the testing of immigrants would begin after that, according to Charles R. McCance, acting quarantine director with the Centers for Disease Control.

McCance said that despite the appeals on behalf of amnesty applicants, "We are not going to exempt any aliens from the {AIDS testing} requirements."

It is unclear what the Immigration and Naturalization Service -- the agency charged with operating the amnesty program -- would do with amnesty applicants who test positive for AIDS. The new immigration law states that the information in amnesty applications is confidential and cannot be used to deport an ineligible immigrant. The law makes no reference to the disease.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association, in its written response to the Centers for Disease Control on the proposed AIDS testing plan, urged the federal government to grant waivers to amnesty seekers who test positive for AIDS, if the immigrant agrees to enter an education and counseling program.

"It would be inhumane and a reactionary position for the legalization program to turn around and say to an individual, 'Now you have AIDS and you must leave,' " said Warren Leiden, executive director of the lawyers group, which has 2,500 members nationwide.

At a meeting in San Francisco this week, the group's board of directors also requested that the United States allow new immigrants to be tested at the U.S. border or once they are in the country, rather than in their home countries as proposed.

A coalition of advocacy groups, including the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, also has asked the federal government to make an exception for amnesty applicants who test positive for AIDS.

The groups say the testing plan is unfair to amnesty applicants who have been here since 1982, and in all likelihood became infected while in the United States.