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Russians Fake HIV to Evade Draft

Photo by Sima Ghaffarzadeh

A fake diagnosis costs $620.

Russian men are looking to potential scammers on the application Telegram to purchase fake HIV diagnoses to avoid the Russian draft.

LGBTQ Nationreported that the groups contain tens of thousands of users and offer transportation to bordering countries in addition to work and housing. The falsified HIV and hepatitis diagnoses can be paid via Bitcoin and come alongside forged government documents and currency exchanges.

The fake diagnoses come in the wake of the September 21 announcement from Russia’s anti-LGBTQ president Vladimir Putin ordering 300,000 male citizens to aid in his ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

An anonymous seller told the global tech website Rest of World, “At the moment, the most effective way [to avoid being drafted into the Russian military] is to get a certificate that you have HIV or hepatitis.”

He added, “Vendors offered HIV diagnoses that would be added to the Ministry of Health’s database, rendering someone as unfit for military service, for $620. A diagnosis of hepatitis goes for $820.” The difference in price comes from the higher risk for buyers to be deceived or confirm whether any of the offered services are genuine.

Reports also indicate private military companies working for Russia are conscripting HIV-positive prisoners and imprisoned individuals with hepatitis C to fight in their war.

A recently passed law reported by The Guardian shows that dodging the Russian draft is punishable by up to 10 years in prison among other penalties. On the heels of that, Putin issued a speech in October stating the war was necessary to stop Western countries from forcing LGBTQ “perversions” on Russian children.

During the attacks on Ukraine, Putin’s soldiers have also reportedly been attacking and torturing civilians with especially cruel treatment being placed upon LGBTQ+ Ukrainians.

U.S. President Joe Biden has supported Ukraine with weaponry and billions in financial aid, but political observers worry that such contributions may end if Republicans take Congress following the November 2022 midterm elections.

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