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Reged: 02/27/11
Posts: 3
Employment HIV Test for Locals in the UAE
      #254558 - 02/27/11 07:41 PM

I just wanted to share that if you are a local and want to work in the UAE, you do not have to go and get tested for HIV for employment.

The UAE unfortunately has strict laws against HIV for expats and has a compulsory blood test for work visas for STDs and including HIV and ends up deporting whoever tests positive.

That's the case for expats. For locals, the government announced that they are drawing up some law to protect HIV positive locals last year to ensure that they get employed and are not left behind. Nothing so far has been announced and we are still required to go through a medical test, that includes HIV, prior to employment.

I have changed jobs three times over the past 5 years and have been able to dodge the HIV test twice and I want to share this with anyone reading this. The first time I was asked to do the test, I felt like my world was collapsing because of the harsh society we live in here and how it doesn't tolerate people living with HIV. I went for the test not knowing whether they would test me for HIV and whether I would be jailed or in be placed in quarantine. There are no resources out there and I couldn't ask anyone. It was very tough. I had panic attacks. I wanted to die. I built up the courage and I took the risk and did the test. The doctor called me a couple of days later telling me that I was positive. I told her I knew and I started crying asking her to not tell my employer. She did and I ended up getting hired anyways because it was a multinational company. I worked there for a year feeling paranoid and not being able to be myself and fearing anyone in the HR department. Paranoia was part of my career. I quit and joined another company and the test came up again. I was given a 'physical' test sheet this time. I took it to a doctor at a private hospital and and he asked me if i was alright and I said yes. He completed the check up with no blood test. I took the sheet back to my company and they accepted it. It was the happiest day of my life because I was in the middle of having a nervous breakdown.

I just got another job recently and this time was not given a sheet to fill out for my medical. My whole world collapsed once more because I knew that if i went to a public hospital they would test for HIV. I tried everything. Asked people I could ask. Even my doctor. My only way out was to get tested again. I went to a public hospital and before the test confessed to the doctor and asked him to waive the HIV test. He said he cannot do that but then told me to go to a private hospital and ask for a PHYSICAL test and not a MEDICAL test. Apparently, a physical test does not include a blood test and therefore doesn't include an HIV test. I took it to my company and they thankfully accepted it.

I only want to post this so that someone who is maybe going through what I went through can read it and benefit from my experience. It really was like hell on earth and it brought back the whole shock of testing positive but multiplied by 10 because hiding it is much harder than actually living with it.

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Reged: 02/02/11
Posts: 464
Loc: Thailand
Re: Employment HIV Test for Locals in the UAE new
      #254560 - 02/28/11 02:01 AM

Thank you for the information! I'm an expat in Thailand who was just diagnosed, and am very glad for any international information about governments' policies, since I may be moving around a bit over the years.

It sounds like the UAE is similar to Taiwan. An HIV test is mandatory for all foreign workers, and a positive result results in loss of work visa and deportation.

Thanks again for the info!

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