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July 21, 2008

Russia May Lift HIV Travel Restrictions

Russian government officials are considering halting required HIV testing of foreigners seeking residence in the country, The Moscow Times reports (themoscowtimes.com, 7/18).

“If they do it in the [United States], then it is very likely that it can happen in Russia too,” said Vadim Pokrovsky, head of Russia’s Federal AIDS Center. Along with the United States, Russia remains among a dozen countries with HIV-related travel restrictions, including Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Libya.

Existing Russian law dictates that visitors must test HIV negative before they are eligible for a visa enabling them to stay in the country for longer than three months. Those who test HIV positive face deportation.

On July 17, the U.S. Senate voted to remove travel restrictions on HIV-positive foreigners, but the House still hasn’t voted on the issue.

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