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The Inclusion of A Set of Functional Impairments in Evidence of Disability is Detrimental to People Living with HIV Positive Status.

The Council for Preventing and Eliminating Discrimination and Ensuring Equality has made a decision on a comprehensive problem that increases the vulnerability of HIV+ people and raises the rejection level of society.

The Council was informed that according to some provisions of the Government Decree on the definition of disability, Nº 357 from 18.04.2018, a new section was introduced in the certificate establishing reduced capabilities, which should be guided by the code of functional disorders. The section mentioned will lead to inappropriate disclosure of HIV status.

Consequentially, HIV positive people can be discriminated in case of providing such certificate while receiving social benefits, issuing identity documents in various educational institutions – for exemption from physical education, while enrolling on a budgetary basis, and in cases of employment – to obtain a reduced workload, etc., since the code of functional disorders can easily be determined by third parties. It will increase the vulnerability and rejection of people living with HIV/AIDS.

As an argument for the inclusion of new provisions, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection referred to the necessity of compilation of disaggregated statistics, including the types of disability and functional impairment. At the same time, the National Council for the determination of disability and working capacity confirms that these data will subsequently be used for the development of policy and regulatory documents.

The Council has approved the compilation of medical data necessary for statistics, historical, sociological, medical and legal research being legitimate purposes, but considers the funds used to achieve it disproportionate, since it is sufficient for these data to be kept in the operating system, without being indicated in the certificates issued to applicants. The Council expressed the requirement to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection to eliminate the necessity to mention every functional disease in the certificates establishing limitations of opportunities, which will increase the level of safety and confidentiality of medical data of all the applicants.

According to the Study of Perception and Attitude to Equality in the Republic of Moldova, conducted in 2018, a high level of rejection of people living with HIV / AIDS remains in all spheres of life. At the same time, the level of social distance from people living with HIV remains high (4,3). A person living with HIV is not accepted as a work colleague, neighbour, friend or family member.