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Taking Residence in United Arab Emirates for work
Jul 21, 2009

HI, I am thinking about taking employment in the United Arab Emirates for work. As part of their government medical exam for residency they require a HIV test. If I am undetectable would I pass this exam?

Any other information you might have on living in United Arab Emirates as expatriate would be helpful.

thanks for great site!

Response from Dr. Sherer

No, your HIV antibody test, which is the test that they would perform, will always be positive, in spite of the fact that your HIV viral load, which tests for viral RNA particles, is below the level of detection.

As there are HIV positive people in all countries of the world, you may find a web site with information directed towards people living with HIV in the United Arab Emirates. I urge you to look to the public health websites, such as UNAIDS and WHO with specific information re: the UAE, as well as the websites dedicated to global advocacy, such as this site (The Body), Treatment Action Group (TAG), and others, such as MAP. You may also find better information about UAE from health authorities and NGO/CBOs in neighboring countries without such onerous restrictions. Another source of information would be hospitals and health centers in UAE, where you often find compassionate health workers with no investment in regressive government policies.

On the other hand, if you are unable to find a way around this requirement, and you are HIV positive, your best course may be avoid the UAE and all of these hassles. I urge you to talk to your current doctor and to seek assistance in your current country from HIV advocacy groups.

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