Washington International Law Journal


Carrie C. Gage


The Russian Federation faces one of the fastest growing rates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (“HIV”) infection in the world. In 1995, Russia adopted comprehensive legislation addressing HIV and the disease caused by this virus, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (“AIDS”). The legislation prohibited discrimination based on HIV infection and provided access to medical care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Having recognized that Injecting Drug Users involved in sex work will likely act as a bridge to the general population, the Russian government has recently taken greater steps to curb transmission. Russia has moved to decriminalize the distribution of hypodermic needles for prevention of infectious diseases and has committed to increasing HIV/AIDS funding. Given the Russian government’s recent dedication of additional funding to combat HIV/AIDS, this Comment seeks to identify potential barriers to HIV/AIDS prevention in existing Russian law. In both testing and treatment, inadequate protection of private health information may discourage individuals from learning their HIV status and seeking treatment. As such, an effective legislative solution to Russia’s growing epidemic must include greater protections for health privacy. Comprehensive health privacy legislation in the United States may provide a framework for enhancing existing health privacy protections for individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Russia. Despite differences between the legal systems of Russia and the United States, Russian law, like American law addressing health privacy, should clarify the statutory right to health privacy, the remedies tied to the violation of that right, and the path to legal redress for the right’s infringement

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