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UAE to Make AIDS Test Mandatory for Immigrant Job Seekers

by VR Sreeraman on August 1, 2007 at 8:28 PM
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UAE to Make AIDS Test Mandatory for Immigrant Job Seekers

Immigrants coming to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for employment purposes will have to furnish certificates which state that they are not infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or suffer from the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), officials said.

Ali bin Shukur, under-secretary at the ministry of health told Khaleej Times Tuesday that the government is mulling a new policy under which the HIV/AIDS-free certificates would be made mandatory for immigrant job seekers.

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"This measure will be part of a comprehensive project to be implemented in coordination with governments of several countries exporting labour force to the UAE," Shukur told the paper.

Shukur added that once the expatriates arrive in the country, they would again be screened for HIV/AIDS for issuance of a work visa.

"In some developing countries, the diagnosis and screening systems might not be up to the mark and the results may be unreliable. That is why double-checking is vital," he said.
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Another reason for repeating the tests, he said, was the possibility of forging of medical documents by unscrupulous recruitment agencies.

According to official records, last year, 750 expatriates were found to be carrying the virus.

There are around 1.4 million expatriate Indians in UAE, many of them contract workers. In Dubai alone, Indians comprise over 60 percent of the city's total population of over 1.4 million.

Source: IANS
SRM/B
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