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After St. Petersburg Death, Health Officials Could Seize HIV-Positive Children

Victor Bartenev / Interpress / TASS

HIV-positive children should be seized from parents who refuse to treat them on religious or ideological grounds, a Russian Health Ministry official told the state-run TASS news agency this week.

“When the child’s life is threatened, there must first be a warning, then the child should be removed from the family for treatment,” Yevgeny Voronin, a ministry expert, said Wednesday.

Voronin made the comments after a 10-year-old St. Petersburg girl died from AIDS last week.

The child’s parents reportedly refused doctors’ orders despite a 2016 court ruling requiring them to hospitalize their daughter.

Her adoptive parents reportedly opposed mainsteam medicine and were convinced that AIDS is a hoax “invented by greedy drug makers,” the website of Russia’s children's rights ombudsman, Anna Kuznetsova, said.

Voronin told TASS that he appealed to the Russian children’s rights commissioner “to resolve the issue of AIDS dissidents.”

The local branch of the Investigative Committee announced a pre-investigation inquiry on Thursday into the circumstances of the 10-year-old's death at the children’s hospital.

HIV infections are skyrocketing in Russia with a nearly 150-percent increase in new diagnoses over the past decade, according to the AVERT HIV and AIDS awareness center.

Kuznetsova, Russia children's rights ombudsman, said earlier this year that 12 HIV-positive children had been seized from an adoptive Moscow family in January.

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