The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation struck another blow to HIV positive people when they upheld a law banning the adoption of children to people living with HIV.
The ban, according to Russian news outlet RIA Novosti (link in Russian, English summary here), was upheld based on testimony from Irina Vlasova, a health expert of the Ministry of Health, who stated that HIV positive people “are dying” not because of AIDS, but because of other diseases contracted due to HIV. Vlasova also stated there was no way to predict how the virus would mutate. Children would therefore be at risk of losing a parent if that parent were to become sick.
The case is the latest in bad news for poz people in Russia. The country has one of the fastest growing rates of infection in the world and the highest rate in Europe, with neighbor Ukraine following closely behind.
In addition, according to the World Health Organization those new infections are among those under 30 and are strongly correlated with injection drug use.
The IBT reported that in contrast, Ukraine’s infection rate, though still higher than other European countries, has dropped among injection drug users since methadone was legalized in 2007 and the overall infection rate dropped in 2012 for the first time since 1999.
The implementation of Russia’s restrictive drug laws in newly annexed Crimea however has cut off 800 methadone patients from their prescriptions, though it is unknown what kind of effect they will have of the rate of HIV infection.