Response stories

Caring for people living with HIV in Azerbaijan: how REActors help to overcome difficulties with residence registration

Recently, REActors in Azerbaijan have been facing a growing problem of integrating people living with HIV (PLHIV) into society. In more than 100 registered cases, problems have arisen either with personal documents or with official registration. Some of them had just been released from prison, some found themselves because their families had left them alone, and some had lost their documents. And the lack of documents limits access to social security services and benefits. 

However, despite the difficulties faced by members of vulnerable groups, national paralegals act as mediators to help resolve such problems. One example of such support was the case of Zaur (name changed), a member of the PLHIV community, who faced serious difficulties due to the lack of a propiska. In Azerbaijan, as in many other countries, this is an important prerequisite for obtaining government services such as a new passport, bank card, or pension payments.

Zaur was discharged by the police without obtaining a new propiska. This created an obstacle for him in receiving social services, as most state organizations require a place of residence registration before providing services. This situation became a real challenge for Zaur, depriving him of the opportunity to register elsewhere and receive the necessary social benefits.

This is when REActors stepped in, acting as intermediaries between Zaur and social services. They started by collecting the necessary documents that provided full information about his condition and needs. This included medical documents confirming HIV status and other documents necessary to resolve the issue of residence registration.

Next, the REActors actively searched for a suitable place for residence registration, taking into account all requirements and restrictions. However, their assistance was not limited to the selection. They also covered all costs related to registration and other necessary procedures. The resources for this were allocated from the paralegals’ funds, which emphasizes their dedication and willingness to help those in need. At the moment, the issue of Zaur’s place of residence is being resolved. 

This case became not only a vivid example of effective assistance to PLHIV in Azerbaijan but also emphasized the importance of the role of national REActors in ensuring social justice and inclusion. With their participation and support, a society is being created where every person can expect to be able to live a full life, regardless of their circumstances.

Also read:

Combating Discrimination Against Children with HIV in Kazakhstan Educational Institutions

Progress in Addressing Discrimination and Promoting HIV Awareness in North Macedonia