A top court has scrapped Russia’s de-facto ban on allowing people who live with HIV to adopt children.
The changes were anticipated this summer as part of a broader state strategy to combat the epidemic and reduce stigma. Russia’s strategy to eradicate HIV focuses on working with at-risk groups, spreading awareness and fighting discrimination.
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Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that preventing HIV-positive families from adopting children who already live with them is unconstitutional.
The unilateral ruling cited a previous court resolution from 2015 along with a UN and International Organization for Migration (IOM) argument that HIV/AIDS does not pose a threat because it “cannot be transmitted by the mere presence of a person with HIV.”
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Pavel Chikov, head of the AGORA human rights organization, called the ruling a “serious step toward lowering discrimination” but noted that it stops short of scrapping adoption for HIV positive people in its entirety.
“The Constitutional Court didn’t have the guts to allow these people to adopt from children’s homes,” Chikov wrote on his Telegram channel.