Response stories

Helping a client get back home

Being a sex worker with HIV-positive status and an internally displaced person from the occupied part of the Donetsk region, Yuliia stayed at the Kryvyi Rih Rehabilitation Center. Since the year before, she had been a client of the partner organization, linked to a healthcare facility for case management and ART, and enrolled in the CIRI intervention (accessing support for 12 months).

Six months after being started on the therapy, Yuliia suddenly cut off all communication with her case manager and doctor. After a while, the woman finally contacted the REActor over the phone asking for help. As it turned out, the client had decided to drop out of her rehabilitation program, believing that now she was well able to lead a life of sobriety without any outside help. The woman moved to another region and tried to find a job there, but after a short time, she returned to retaking drugs and quit ART.

Due to such drastic changes, Yuliia’s health suffered a major setback. To make matters worse, one evening, she was attacked by two unidentified men who beat her up and then raped her. As a result, the woman suffered severe concussions to the head and sought professional help from the local General Practice/Family Medicine Clinic. They turned her away, without even providing first aid service, arguing that she had no signed medical services contract (the Healthcare Services Declaration Form) with a local doctor. Next, the woman turned to the district police officer for help but was also refused help and advised to get back to the rehabilitation center.

Yuliia had neither the strength nor the money to return to Kryvyi Rih immediately. So she called up the REActor and asked for help. In the end, the client was brought home through everyone’s efforts. Yuliia was provided with psychological and emotional support, as well as primary legal aid services in a consultation format. She was also accompanied to the health care facility to resume ART. The woman also received medical care from an ophthalmologist, as her eyesight had significantly deteriorated due to the injuries sustained, and she was prescribed the treatment she needed. Yuliia decided against contacting the police to file charges. She is currently back in rehabilitation and continuing her therapy.