Response stories

Eviction from a dormitory due to HIV+ status in Kazakhstan

The story of Maria (name changed), living with HIV+ in rented dormitory accommodation, was a testimony of injustice and discrimination. But thanks to the decisive actions and support of REActor, the woman was able to defend her rights and change the course of events.

In the latest episode of her fight for equal rights, Maria was notified that she needed to be evicted from the dormitory because of her HIV+ status. The commandant of the dormitory made it clear that Maria staying there could pose a risk of HIV transmission to other residents, especially children.

This is not the first case of discrimination Maria has faced, but this time she decided not to keep silent and turned to REActor for help. The paralegal provided her with not only support but also information about her rights and possible actions.

The first step was the REActor’s consultation with Maria. Her rights were explained and possible steps for advocacy were suggested. Then, together with the REActor, they went to the dormitory to discuss the grounds for eviction with the administration.

A meeting with the hostel commandant confirmed that the decision to evict was directly related to the HIV+ status of Maria and her child. To overcome stigma and discrimination, the REActor decided to have a preventive conversation with the hostel administrator. The ways of HIV transmission and prevention methods were explained, it was emphasized that HIV is not airborne and that discrimination against PLHIV is unacceptable.

The commandant of the dormitory apologized for the incident and assured Maria that she was allowed to stay. There was also a promise of confidentiality and training for dormitory staff to prevent similar incidents in the future.

This story highlights the importance of combating discrimination and stigmatization of PLHIV in Kazakhstan. By persevering and seeking help, Maria and the REActor were able to achieve justice and change society’s view of the real risks of HIV transmission. Combating prejudice and raising public awareness about PLHIV remain key steps towards an inclusive society.

Also read:

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

Violence against a sex worker in Armenia and her legal support