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Communicable Disease: HIV and Syphilis

Bhutanese Refugee Health Profile

Overseas screening for HIV infection has been discontinued as a requirement for US immigration since January 2010. Testing is offered to refugees by many state health departments. If a refugee is known to have TB, this is documented in their medical examination paperwork and they are listed as class B-Other HIV. Among more than 2000 Bhutanese refugees screened in Texas between 2008–2011, fewer than 0.5% were positive for HIV infection. 15

Syphilis screening is still a visa medical examination requirement and treatment is provided to those who test positive. Less than 0.5% of Bhutanese refugees tested positive for syphilis during post-arrival screening exams in Texas. 15


  1. Texas Department of State Health Services (2009-2011), Electronic System for Health Assesment of Refugees (eShare Database).