‘I was waiting to die’: In Russia, HIV+ migrants fear death and deportation

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03/06/2020

Dilovar moved to Russia from Tajikistan a decade ago hoping for a better life but he contracted HIV and now lives with the threat of deportation and unable to access proper medical care. Russia is among 19 states that deport HIV positive non-nationals, along with Egypt, Malaysia and Singapore, according to UNAIDS, the United Nations’ HIV/AIDS program, which describes such laws as stigmatizing and a violation of human rights. “HIV treatment is not possible. I will get deported if I go to the doctor,” said 31-year-old Dilovar, who is gay and declined to give his full name. “I do not want to lose my job by telling my employer about my infection.” Russia is one of the few countries in the world where HIV rates are increasing, with a record number of new cases in 2017 and a total of about 1.2 million infected, largely drug users, according to the World Health Organization.

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