Response stories

Discrimination of a patient due to belonging to a risk group

Halyna got an appointment with a venereologist, who began to openly stigmatize the client as soon as she learned that the girl belongs to the risk group of PWIDs. The doctor condemned Halyna’s lifestyle, insulted her, and called the girl’s behavior shameful and unacceptable.

After such an experience of receiving medical services, the client became withdrawn and changed her mind about further treatment. After some time, the girl turned to the REAct documentator to get psychological support.

The REActor listened to Halyna and provided the necessary consultation. The client was accompanied by a friendly doctor who examined the girl with respect and without discrimination and provided the necessary assistance. Currently, Halyna is fully engaged in her health and receives psychological help.

Psychologist's advice Useful materials

5 effective grounding techniques that will help defeat a panic attack

For almost a year, the psyche of Ukrainians has been under the influence of a heavy load. A sudden change in the usual living conditions, air raids, staying in shelters, shelling, and being forced to flee from one’s home. All these factors lead to the development of mental disorders, including panic ones.

A panic attack is provoked by an excessive release of adrenaline into the blood, and, accordingly, by strong physical symptoms.

Let’s recall the symptoms of a panic attack:

  • rapid heartbeat;
  • excessive sweating;
  • increased pressure;
  • body tremors;
  • chills;
  • chest or stomach pain;
  • shortness of breath and feeling of suffocation;
  • an attack of severe nausea;
  • dizziness, up to loss of consciousness;
  • feeling like you’re dying;
  • depersonalization;
  • fear of going crazy;
  • feeling of unreality of what is happening.

A panic attack always starts suddenly and can happen anytime and anywhere. As you can see, this is a rather complex experience at the level of the body and emotions. To survive it as easily as possible, a person needs a certain resource. It can be obtained independently by performing the 5 Grounding Techniques.

1. Feel your own body. You can’t stand still during a panic attack. Actively move: run, squat or push-up, stomp your feet, bend over, etc.

2. Focus on observation. For example, consciously and carefully look for objects of similar color in the room. Or listen to the sounds around you, distinguish them by their source of origin, and compare them by volume or tonality.

3. Use your breath. Breathe deeply. Imagine that there is a candle in front of you and blow out its light. Breathe in the scent of an imaginary flower. Pretend you are blowing up a balloon.

4. Play games. An elementary game for children’s development is “guess the profession” (look at the people around and determine who they work for) or “categories” (choose a category – food, animals, musical instruments – and name 10 objects that belong to it).

5. Treat yourself. Brew your favorite tea, or make a cup of coffee or chocolate. Take a shower or bath. Do a self-massage. Do all these actions not mechanically, fully aware of their effect on you.

What will you get? Grounding techniques will help reduce the severity of panic attacks. Focusing on the present moment distracts unnecessary attention from fears, worries, or unpleasant memories.

Please note: Panic attacks that tend to recur should be discussed with a therapist or mental health professional.

This extremely unpleasant psychological state is not a sentence. You can and should get rid of it – both independently and with the help of a specialist.

Psychologist's advice Useful materials

Help yourself overcome anxious thoughts

Today brings disturbing information to each of us. During the war, its volume increases many times. Anxious thoughts are the sprouts of difficult situations and traumatic events.

We will not let some of this “scum” into our world, and on the contrary, we will feed it with the fertilizers of negative evaluative judgments of others and our own bitter mistakes.

Bad thoughts are an echo of negative experiences – both one’s own and someone else’s. In addition, one of the features of memory is to retain memories of failures longer than of successes.

It’s good when anxious thoughts happen over time, like clouds in the emotional sky: they were there, flashed by, and disappeared. But sometimes they become intrusive: they can spoil sleep, affect the ability to think rationally, work, and generally lead an active life.

Most often, negative experiences intensify after severe stress or against the background of emotional burnout. These conditions are currently characteristic of almost every Ukrainian due to the war.

Let’s try to get rid of them.

First: we get rid of marker words in our thoughts and statements that indicate an exaggeration of the scale of the disaster: “everyone”, “always”, “never”, “none”, or “nothing”. We are experts only in our own lives.

We work through each disturbing thought using the following algorithm:

  1. We describe a situation that causes concern.
  2. We list all the disturbing thoughts that arise regarding this situation. It is better to write each of them on a separate sticker.
  3. Then arrange these thoughts-stickers according to the degree of probability: from more real to less realistic.
  4. We carefully look at thoughts that have a high chance of being realized in life. Consider: can you influence these circumstances?
  5. Then let’s draw up an action plan: what will you do in the event of a worst-case and best-case scenario?
  6. Find and write down thoughts that add strength, resources, and hope for a positive outcome.

When analyzing disturbing thoughts, it is important to realize that they are only thoughts, not reality.

Additional recommendation: if it is difficult for you to objectively assess the problem, try to see it through the eyes of another person (parents, a friend, a public person whom you respect, or even a movie hero).

Use this powerful algorithm today. In just a few days, you will definitely feel an improvement in your relationship with yourself and the world around you.

Lawyer’s advice Useful materials

The issue of mobilization of persons in wartime

General mobilization was announced in Ukraine by presidential decree. Because of this, any male person between the ages of 18 and 60 can receive a summons. Of course, it is clarified that first of all those with combat experience will be mobilized and called up. However, reports are received from representatives of the client base of the REAct project that summonses are issued to men in any location, despite the lack of military experience and regardless of their health status (drug addiction and being on the RRT program, positive HIV status, etc.). Such a phenomenon arises in a part of customers due to anxiety and excitement due to a lack of knowledge.

Let’s analyze this issue. By law, during mobilization, citizens are required to appear at the assembly points of the territorial recruitment and social support center (former military commissars) within the time limits specified in the documents (summons) they received.

The summons must be delivered to the citizen personally, under signature, while the law does not specifically define the place where the summons must be delivered, because of this, it can be delivered in any place, that is, at a checkpoint, on the street, in public institutions, at workplaces, in houses, etc.

Employees of the territorial recruitment and social support center (TRC and SS) are responsible for writing out and serving a summons to a person, but recently the list of persons authorized to serve has been expanded, which will be explained below.

Let’s analyze the case when, for example, a person is stopped on the street by the military – employees of the territorial recruitment center and directly at the place of the stop issue a summons for further delivery, although this is not legal. In any case, after receiving the summons, it is important not to panic, but carefully, before putting your signature on receiving it, read the contents of the summons to make sure that everything is specified in it as it should be.

At the same time, it should be taken into account that the summons must include: the surname, first name and patronymic of the conscript, the year of birth and the address of the person being summoned; his place of work; the type of summons – important! (clarification of credentials, passing a medical examination, arrival at the territorial recruitment and social support center, conscription for military service); date, time, and address – when and where to appear; the name of the body, wet seal, signature, surname, first name, and patronymic of the head of the territorial recruitment and social support center.

If the summons is filled in incorrectly, the person may not sign it due to existing errors. In this case, the official who tried to serve the summons can draw up an act of refusal to receive the summons with a mandatory indication of such a reason in the presence of witnesses. Witnesses are needed in order to confirm, in any case, what was the legal basis for a person’s refusal to receive a summons. After all, there is a possibility that if a conscript does not appear before the military commissariat after receiving a summons, he may have trouble with the law. Therefore, the act of refusal to receive a summons must either contain legal grounds for refusal, or it is better not to allow it to be drawn up at all. An act of refusal is drawn up in order to impose a fine on a person and further bring the person to justice, for example, in case of subsequent refusals to come to the military commissariat (recruitment center). But it must be understood that such a refusal act can only be drawn up by an official of the assembly center if she has the passport data of the conscript, for example, when he provided her with his passport for review.

The summons must be filled out and signed by the head of the TRC and SS in advance, and not filled out when a person is stopped on the street by some military officer who is probably not an employee of the TRC and SS. It should also be noted that if the person did not sign the receipt of the summons, then his responsibility for failure to appear on the summons is actually absent. It should be noted separately that the military does not have the right to grab a person, shove him into a car and take him to the military commissary (territorial recruitment center) – this is a direct violation of the rights of a person, which can be appealed and should entail liability for them by law.

So, let’s summarize – a summons is considered legally received if:

  • it was handed over by employees of territorial recruitment and social support centers (TRC and SS) or the persons specified below;
  • it is issued in compliance with all requirements (correctly entered data, available signature of the head of the picking center, and seal of this center).

If a person is served with a summons without complying with the established requirements, then he has the right to refuse it, for this a corresponding act is drawn up in the presence of witnesses. When refusing a summons under such conditions, a person will bear responsibility – neither criminal nor administrative.

Separately, it should be noted that from the beginning of 2023, a new order of military accounting began to operate in our country, according to which the following acquired the right to serve summonses, in addition to direct officials of the TRC and SS, also:

  • representatives of the local self-government body;
  • head or authorized person at the enterprise, institution, or organization where the conscript works;
  • authorized persons at the educational institution where the conscript is studying;
  • employees of apartment building managers (condominiums or management companies).

At the same time, it is necessary to ask the person who tries to serve a summons, to name himself and to present for perusal an official ID card or other document confirming his identity and authority.

It is worth remembering that a summons can be served only by a person authorized to take such actions, which, for example, representatives of the TRD or the police do not even now belong to. Also, summonses, for example, left at the door of an apartment, are not considered to have been served properly, and therefore cannot be the basis for bringing a person to justice in case of non-arrival according to it to the collection center.

In general, there are several types of summons according to the order of service:

  1. Summons to clarify credentials: the main purpose (currently the most common) is to update the personal data of a conscript.
  2. Summons for passing a military medical commission (MMC) – to establish a person’s suitability for military service.
  3. The summons on mobilization, is handed to the person last.

Representatives of key communities, especially such as PLHIV, PLTB, PWID, and OST patients, know that sometimes a state of health makes a person unfit for a significant workload, including military service, but there are persons who are unfit for service at all, and there are others who are unfit for it in peacetime, but limitedly fit in wartime. What such a person can do should be decided to take into account individual contraindications according to the medical board.

It also raises the question of what to do if, for example, close relatives need constant care and assistance. Yes, if a potentially mobilized person has elderly parents or close relatives, or children who need constant care due to health conditions, then he can be exempted from military service. However, to confirm such circumstances, it is necessary to present documents, in particular medical reports of a healthcare institution, to the territorial center of recruitment and social support.

Response stories

Refusal to organize the childbirth due to HIV status

Kateryna turned to the “Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology” to a doctor for consultation and registration for further childbirth in this medical institution. The doctor conducted an examination and as soon as she found out that Kateryna had a positive HIV status, she immediately refused her further services, arguing that “in their institution, people with AIDS do not give birth and they do not accept such patients, as it is dangerous for others.”

After this unpleasant situation, Kateryna turned to the REAct documentator for a consultation regarding denying her medical service. The client was immediately consulted on legal issues and offered to make a statement to the chief physician regarding the wrongful refusal of medical services.

In addition, the woman was given all the necessary recommendations regarding maternity hospitals, where women with HIV are treated responsibly and tolerantly. At the client’s request, she was referred to the corresponding friendly specialist in the health center. Regarding the doctor of the “Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology”, a disciplinary sanction was applied as a reprimand, and the medical director of the Institute was informed about this decision.


REAct system – Protection of the rights of key communities in war conditions: Kherson and Mykolaiv

The military aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine led to a serious deterioration of the human rights situation throughout the territory of our country.

ICF “Alliance for Public Health” is implementing a system of monitoring and responding to human rights violations at the level of communities vulnerable to HIV and TB – REAct.

Despite the difficult conditions, REAct specialists continue to work and help those in need. During the full-scale war, we received 202 complaints about violations of the rights of key communities in Kherson and 102 complaints in Mykolaiv.

See how it happened in our video.

Protection of the rights of key communities: Kherson and Mykolaiv

Read also:

Booklet on war crimes and violations of the rights of key communities against the background of Russian military aggression.

Response stories

Violation of the rights of PWID to medical assistance

Victoria arrived at the reception department of the city clinical hospital in severe condition. During the examination of the patient, the doctor saw that Victoria had punctures on her hands and, realizing that she was a drug addict, began to behave carelessly, expressing his personal negative attitude towards PWID.

The man verbally insulted the client and did not even register the hospitalization, referring to the fact that in Victoria drug withdrawal and the hospital do not deal with this.

The REActor came to the reception department after a call from the client’s father and on the spot found out the reason for the refusal directly through a conversation with the doctor. The documentator conducted an informational interview regarding the violation of the right to medical assistance and focused the attention of the medical staff on the possible consequences in cases of such violations. After that, Victoria was hospitalized and received all the necessary help.

Psychologist's advice Useful materials

The importance of post-contact prevention

After the invention of the modern latex condom, sex became really reliably protected against many sexually transmitted infections, and in combination with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – an ideal means of HIV infection.

However, there are sometimes unpleasant situations when a condom – a “reliable headache pill” – is missing, or out of place (for example, in a pocket), an act of violence occurred, or a person had direct contact with blood/other liquids, which contained blood. Still, they got into an open wound, mucous membrane, or bloodstream. During the war, the number of such cases increased significantly.

What to do if this has already happened? This article is about further actions and assistance to the victim.

First of all, you need to calm down, don’t panic. In no case do not pour anything with disinfectant solutions (alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide), rub, drip, squeeze, apply, or fix the place of injury with bandages, and even more, irritate the damaged area, and mucous membranes. Actions should be clear and calm: we eliminate other people’s fluids that have entered. If it is a wound or a mucous membrane, and you can wash them with plain water, do it. Use soap and water where appropriate.

As soon as possible (no later than 72 hours after contact, but the sooner the better), contact a medical institution, where you will be provided with qualified advice regarding the probable degrees of risk of HIV infection and other STІs. If you are in a foreign city and do not know where to go, you will be guided: 0 800 500 451.

Sexual violence significantly increases the risk of HIV infection than consensual sex, as such intercourse is considered more traumatic and therefore more likely to involve blood. The HIV status of the rapist and the victim of violence is also unknown. If a person who commits sexual violence is living with HIV, the risk of HIV transmission also increases under the following conditions: bites, vaginal and anal penetration, genital trauma, contact with sperm in or around the vagina or anus, the rapist is a user injecting drugs, as well as there, was more than one rapist.

However, always remember: “consent to sex” does not equal protection from infection.

One of the ways to prevent HIV transmission is the timely and correct use of medical post-exposure prophylaxis with antiretroviral drugs. It’s reliable and free. You will also be offered an HIV, hepatitis B, and C test immediately and after a specific time. If within 72 hours after the contact you did not manage to get to a doctor and receive post-contact prophylaxis, you will be offered an HIV test three months later. Do not forget about the “window period” at this time.

Read more about the “window period” or “gray window” in the previous article of the psychologist’s advice column: “To be tested or not to be tested? That’s the question.”

Response stories

Refusal of hospitalization due to HIV status

Iryna independently turned to the reception department of the city clinical hospital in the evening with a complaint of a high temperature for several days and a deterioration of her general state of health.

The doctor offered to pay for the medical examination herself, but the woman was unable to do so. Due to the war in the country, Iryna was left without documents, housing and work. After hearing that, the doctor changed the purpose of the medical examination to a cheaper one. Still, as soon as he found out about the client’s HIV status, he immediately began insulting the woman in front of the entire reception department. The man spoke emotionally in her direction, emphasizing that Iryna not only could not pay for the examination but also “has AIDS.” After that, he ultimately refused the client’s further reception.

In a broken state, Iryna turned to the REActor. The woman told about the situation that happened and asked for help. The documentator immediately contacted the chief doctor of the medical institution by phone and reported the doctor’s illegal actions. The issue was resolved immediately and the client was hospitalized for inpatient treatment. A disciplinary discussion was held with the doctor to prevent similar situations in the future.

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Protecting the rights of key communities. Video about the REAct system

Starting from February 24, 2022, Russia’s full-scale military aggression against Ukraine continues. During this time, we observe significant violations of human rights throughout the territory of our country.

ICF “Alliance for Public Health” is implementing a system of monitoring and responding to human rights violations at the level of communities vulnerable to HIV and TB – REAct.

During the full-scale war, we received 2,194 reports of violations of the rights of key communities, 884 of which were directly related to the start of the full-scale war.

Despite the difficult conditions, REAct specialists continue to work and help those in need. During these 10 months, we resolved more than 90% of appeals regarding human rights violations that came within the framework of the REAct system.

And to show how it happened, we present to your attention a new video of the REAct project about the cities where the system is being implemented, the indomitability of Ukrainians, and our immediate victory.

Protecting the rights of key communities: the REAct system

Booklet on war crimes and violations of the rights of key communities against the backdrop of russian military aggression:

Response stories

Demanding money after the operation

Nadia turned to the REActor for getting medical help. After the operation – amputation of the leg, the doctors began to demand money from the woman for the provision of dressing materials, referring to the fact that she is suffering from HIV.

After the client refused to pay for the necessary materials at her own expense, the doctors refused to provide bandages and painkillers, arguing that, given her illness, Nadiya needs more drugs than other patients, and the hospital does not have that much budget. Moreover, they began insulting the woman, calling her a “drug addict” and refused to submit documents to provide the client with a disability group after her leg was amputated.

The REActor visited the head doctor, who began to justify the doctors’ actions and confirmed that the number of bandages and painkillers was exhausted, so the client was offered to buy them at the pharmacy at her own expense. Regarding cases of insults towards Nadiya and refusal to submit documents for registration of disability, the chief doctor promised to hold a disciplinary conversation with the staff so that such cases would not happen again.

With the help of a REActor, all the necessary documents for obtaining a disability group were submitted and, as of now, Nadia has been assigned a group and discharged from the hospital for further treatment at home.

Psychologist's advice Useful materials

Common mistakes that lead to sexually transmitted diseases

1. You used one condom during the transition from one type of sex to another: from oral to vaginal, from anal to vaginal, etc.

This is a very easy way to get, for example, bacterial diseases.

2. You engaged in oral sex without a condom/latex napkin.

Remember: oral sex is also sex! Almost all STDs are transmitted this way.

3. You used one condom with multiple partners during group sex.

In this situation, the condom protected only one person: the one who wore it.

4. You have had skin-to-skin contact with a person with herpes on the lip or papillomas elsewhere on the body.

Herpes and papillomas are always unpleasant, especially on the genitals. Therefore, if a partner with herpes on the lip offers kisses or oral sex, politely refuse.

5. You used someone else’s toothbrush or razor.

Bleeding gums are very common and it’s also easy to cut yourself while shaving, putting you at risk of contracting an STD. Don’t skimp on hygiene products.

6. You used the same towel, and clothes as a person diagnosed with an STD.

Always have your own towel so you don’t read about scabies and pubic lice later on the Internet.

7. You share sex toys.

Sex toys cannot be shared! If you do this, then you can use other people’s “devices” only after they have been thoroughly disinfected with a special disinfectant. After disinfection, be sure to put a condom on the sex toy. So you better start getting your personal intimate toys.

8. During oral sex and anal licking, you can pick up anything by licking.

During oral sex and analingus, there is a risk of infection, for example, with various types of hepatitis.

There is nothing shameful about taking care of your own health. If you are worried about a particular infection or symptoms, do not stay silent and do not wait for the development of the disease complications from it: make an appointment with your family doctor, infectious disease doctor, or gynecologist as soon as possible.

The more truthful you are during this conversation, the more effective the treatment will be.

Remember that it is always easier to prevent infections and diseases than to treat them.

You can call the nationwide HIV/AIDS hotline: 0 800 500 451. Free consultations with infectious disease doctors, psychologists, social workers, and lawyers. You can also get a consultation online:

Response stories

Refusal to perform an operation due to HIV status

Yulia applied to a private hospital for a planned operation to remove the gallbladder. The doctor with whom she previously agreed and who admitted the woman informed her that HIV testing is mandatory. At that time, Yulia admitted that she was HIV-positive, was receiving treatment, and had an undetectable viral load, which is an indicator of safety.

After hearing this, the doctor refused the woman to perform the operation, arguing that other clients, if they find out that AIDS patients are served in this clinic, will stop applying, and asked the client to leave the institution.

After this situation, Julia was in despair and lost all hope. However, a documentator from CO “Positive Women” intervened in the situation and coordinated the woman’s further actions. Julia turned to a friendly doctor and underwent a successful operation. After that, the woman was able to return to a normal life. Later, together with the documentator, Julia filed a complaint against the director of the private clinic with a detailed description of the situation. The manager assured that he would look into everything and bring the culprits to justice.

Psychologist's advice Useful materials

To test or not to test? That’s the question

During the war, we might forget the essential things that can save our lives. A trip to the doctor for the purpose of a preventive examination might be inappropriate for someone. However, it is necessary to keep the line on all fronts. And personal life is an example of this. Taking care of your health and the health of a loved one is the key to victory. We remind you: testing is easy and it saves lives!

So when exactly should you get tested for HIV and other STDs?

Let’s recall: sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by more than 30 different bacteria, viruses, and parasites. STDs are spread mainly through unprotected sexual contact, such as vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

Today, the most common are 8 STDs. 4 of them are curable: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. The other 4 – human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, and herpes – are viral and incurable infections. With treatment, their impact can be reduced.

STD testing is mandatory:

  • when a new sexual partner appears, before the first contact with her/him/them;
  • at the first appearance of the following symptoms: pain, urination disorders, the appearance of abnormal secretions (changes in their quantity, consistency, color, smell), and the formation of rashes on the skin and mucous membranes of the genital organs; for women – violation of the menstrual cycle, change in the nature of menstruation;
  • if you or your partner(s) have sex with other partners;
  • if your partner takes drugs by injection;
  • if you had unprotected sex with a person who was diagnosed with STD;
  • if you have had sex with a person who has not been tested for HIV and other STDs in a very long time;
  • if the condom was damaged during sex.

There are many more conditions for mandatory STD testing. One of them is a gray window.

What is the “grey window” and why is it important to get tested for STDs regularly?

“Grey window” is a period of absence of antibodies for a short period after infection. Simply put, the analysis will not show the disease and the causative agent, but the disease is already present and gradually progressing. You may not feel its symptoms yourself, but you can easily infect others during unprotected sex. For HIV infection, for example, the “gray window” period can last from several weeks to 2-3 months.

Emergency contraception very often can only do harm, because by irritating and destroying the mucous membrane, the penetration process and the development of STDs are accelerated many times over. Post-contact prophylaxis should be prescribed very quickly (on the first or second day after sexual intercourse) and only after consultation with a qualified doctor.

We remind you: during any unprotected sexual contact, there is a risk of STD infection. Thus, almost all STDs are transmitted during oral sex, except for trichomoniasis. There is also, albeit a low, probability of HIV transmission. During oral/vaginal/anal contact, the passive (“receiving”) partner has a significantly higher risk of infection.

How often and what should be tested for preventive purposes?

The recommended frequency of preventive testing is once a year. It is important to be examined for the following diseases: HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital mycoplasma, trichomoniasis, herpes simplex virus type I/II, cytomegalovirus, human papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, 18). Be sure to ask your doctor about an expanded testing package that covers all of these conditions, as they are often not included in a standard examination.

In the event of a change of partner/partners, frequent unprotected sex, anal sex, injecting psychoactive substance use, it is recommended to be tested for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and hepatitis B and C once every 3-6 months.

Remember! You still have time and opportunity to start the new year informed and protected! Contact your doctor to get tested for STDs. In Harm Reduction projects, which operate on the basis of non-governmental HIV service organizations, you can be tested anonymously, free of charge, and confidentially for HIV, hepatitis B, C, and syphilis. To do this, contact your social worker or visit a mobile clinic.

Response stories

Self-confidence is the main element of a happy life

Oksana lived with an HIV-positive man in a civil marriage for almost 10 years. She gave birth to 2 children from this man. Unfortunately, after some time, the woman also fell ill with HIV infection. Due to the untimely detection of the disease, she also infected the child. Later, the man left the family and went to another woman. And when Oksana told about her intentions to file for alimony, her husband began to blackmail and threaten her.

As soon as Oksana began to take the first steps regarding the registration of alimony, the husband began to show physical violence. When the couple met, he immediately started a fight, then hit the woman in the face, then even pulled out her hair. Oksana felt defenseless and also had complexes due to HIV disease: she did not accept herself and felt fear and shame.

When Oksana turned to the REAct documentator, she was immediately provided with psychological support and the necessary information regarding the protection of her rights and freedoms. Later, the woman realized that she should not be silent! She underwent a treatment session with a psychologist, due to which her condition changed radically.

So far, Oksana has been forwarded to the paralegal of the “Positive Women” organization, who accompanied her to the police station, where a statement was made against the abuser, and additional meetings with a psychologist were scheduled to eradicate this lack of self-perception. Oksana’s husband was afraid of the consequences and stopped bothering the client. Today she is completely different: she is confident in herself and continues to live life to the fullest.

Psychologist's advice Useful materials

Quit smoking once for all

The most important question is, are you ready for it? Do you have the desire to change your quality of life? Are you ready to find new habits to replace old ones? Are you prepared to change relationships in the usual circle of friends to others? If you sincerely answer positively to these questions, you can start working on yourself. Do not be afraid, it will not be complicated especially when you know everything about cigarettes.

Remember, you can quit smoking! Did you remember? Act!

Don’t listen to anyone. There is a widespread statement that you can’t quit smoking suddenly. It is not just possible, but vitally necessary! The body will not experience any “stress” because nicotine is not incorporated into any processes in it. Nicotine is a poison that kills. And the “withdrawal” syndrome, which can tear you apart for a couple of days at the physiological level, is a natural reaction to the body’s need for “drugs”.

Here are some recommendations for you:

  1. Give up coffee and alcohol. If at work you are used to arranging “coffee breaks” with smoke breaks, switch to tea or fruit juices. And cancel or postpone upcoming gatherings with smoking friends for at least a month.
  2. Quit suddenly – just cut cigarettes out of your life, and throw away everything that accompanied them (accessories, rituals, etc.) without regret. This way, you can quit smoking in 2 days, and on the second day, the physical craving for nicotine is practically not felt. Only the psychological factor that needs to be dealt with remains.
  3. If the cut-and-forget method isn’t for you, keep a calendar. Make a decision to reduce the number of cigarettes per day, for example, smoke no more than once every 2 hours. And fix the data in the calendar. The next day, increase the interval by another hour, then another. By the end of the first or second week, you will be able to survive a whole day without a cigarette. And if you “withstood” one, then the second and even the third are within your power.
  4. If the cigarette still begs to be put in the mouth, send a glass of liquid there (but not coffee or beer!), or chew an apple, gum, or mint candy.
  5. Avoid situations in which you have always smoked: do not go with colleagues for a break, after work go home and not to a club, even at a stop while waiting for transport, stand not in the usual place, but in a different one.
  6. All items that remind you of the habit, mercilessly erase from life. It has no place for souvenir mouthpieces, pipes, lighters, and ashtrays. If you keep a “reserve pack” somewhere, get rid of such a “stockpile”, because it is of no use to you.
  7. Stop buying and taking cigarettes with you to work or for a walk.
  8. Physical activity will help to understand how to quit smoking at home. Let them be gentle and very pleasant in the first days. Gradually increase the intensity of classes. Training is better done in the gym.
  9. Calculate how much money you spent per month on smoking. Save this money and buy something incredibly nice.
  10. Tell everyone you know about your decision. Invite your best friends to quit too, bet it’s easy to quit smoking in one day!
  11. Help your body get rid of tobacco poisons:

– drink at least 2 liters of water a day to activate the elimination of toxins. Additionally, drink green tea and natural juices;

– in case of inflammation of the oral cavity – rinse the mouth with dental rinses;

– provide comfortable air in the room where you are (humidity at least 50%, temperature up to 22 °C) to facilitate the removal of sputum from the lungs.

Response stories

Assistance in registration of the disability group

Artem was in a psychiatric hospital in serious condition. The attending physician recommended that the boy be issued with a disability group. However, when the client’s mother turned to the family outpatient clinic to sign a declaration for further processing of medical documents for the MSEK commission, she was refused by the doctor of the family outpatient clinic.

The man justified his decision by the fact that Artem has an HIV-positive status and is also a patient of a special medical institution, so he does not want to contact such a client.

In desperation, the mother turned to the REActor. She assisted in drawing up a declaration with the family doctor and helped draw up all the necessary documents. The client is currently undergoing an assessment for the provision of a disability group and continuing treatment.

Brochures News Reports Useful materials

War crimes and violations of the rights of key communities against the background of russian military aggression

The full-scale Russian military invasion of Ukraine has extremely negative consequences for ensuring rights in the context of HIV and TB communities. First of all, it is about the violation of the rights of key communities under martial law, as well as war crimes committed by the occupiers.

In just 9 months of the war, 2,194 cases of violation of the rights of key communities were registered in the REAct system, 884 of which were related to the beginning of the full-scale war of the russian federation against Ukraine.

  • Consequences of the war on the realization of the right to health and access to medical services
  • Internally displaced persons as a risk group during war
  • War crimes by the occupiers
  • Human rights in the temporarily occupied territory

Read about all this in the booklet “War crimes and violations of the rights of key communities against the background of russian military aggression”

Read also:

Violation of the rights of representatives of key communities against the background of the war in Ukraine

Challenges of war: the work of the REAct system in Ukraine