Response stories

Denial of hospitalization: story of the fight against discrimination and stigma in Kazakhstan

It all started with Ruslan’s (name changed) HIV test, which turned out to be positive. According to the preliminary agreement with the REActor, a visit to the AIDS center was scheduled to confirm the diagnosis. However, on that day the situation took an unexpected turn.

Ruslan was found by the REActor in an extremely serious condition, experiencing intense pain. The client reported that he had already asked for an ambulance the day before, but had been refused. The REActor called the ambulance again but also faced a negative reaction from the medical staff. They treated the man with disdain (Ruslan was from a community of people who use drugs and had no permanent residence at the time of the call), believing that he did not need hospitalization and expressing displeasure with his smell.

Despite the difficulties, the REActor insisted on hospitalization, taking full responsibility for the client. Eventually, after much persuasion, Ruslan was still taken to the emergency hospital. Immediately thereafter, the REActor contacted the superintendent, summoning an ambulance crew and holding a meeting about the unacceptable treatment and discrimination of patients.

However, after being discharged from the hospital, a new challenge arose – refusal to register for dispensary registration at the City AIDS Center due to lack of attachment to the polyclinic. Again, the REActor took on the problem, providing support with documents and ensuring that he was attached to a polyclinic.

Ruslan underwent all the necessary tests at the AIDS Center and started antiretroviral therapy (ART).

This story demonstrates how stigma and discrimination create additional difficulties for patients, depriving them of their right to quality medical care. Thanks to the perseverance and determination of the REActor, stereotypes and discrimination were countered. This case became a call to combat negative stereotypes, raise awareness among medical staff, and create a tolerant environment where every patient can expect impartial and quality care, regardless of their status or circumstances.

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