HIV test required for those seeking marriage license in Turkmenistan

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ASHGABAT (TCA) — Turkmenistan has passed a law under which all people seeking a marriage license must be tested for HIV, RFE/RL reports.  

The law implies that anyone found to be infected with the virus that is the precursor to AIDS would be denied a marriage license.

Reports in state-controlled media on April 6 said the law was enacted “in order to create conditions for forming healthy families and avert the birth of HIV-infected children”.

The new law also requires HIV tests for anyone suspected of using narcotics, foreigners seeking work visas, prisoners, and blood donors.

According to the new law, the staff of foreign diplomatic missions and consulates, as well as persons enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunity in Turkmenistan, may be confidentially tested for HIV with their consent only.

Under the new legislation signed by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, the Turkmen government will guarantee free treatment to people infected with AIDS.

Reclusive Turkmenistan has given little public information about the extent of HIV infection in the country.

In 2002, Turkmenistan’s Health Ministry claimed the country had only two cases of HIV and that both patients had been infected outside the Central Asian state.

The UNAIDS has no data on the number of people living with HIV in Turkmenistan and no AIDS estimates for this country.

Sergey Kwan

TCA