Response stories

Incident in Moldova with disclosure of medical information

A pregnant patient of 18 years of age, 33 weeks pregnant, was registered at the Medical Center of the XX district of the XX village. Roxana (name changed) has been registered with a psychiatrist since childhood, and there is a document confirming her incapacity. The medical staff of the district where the girl is registered conducted examinations, including markers for HIV infection. However, after receiving information about the positive result, the personnel who were involved in the diagnosis of the first HIV test could not keep the confidentiality of the patient’s result, and the information spread among the villagers.

A social worker from the Positive Initiative NGO traveled to the village to accompany the patient to the city to give and receive the final result. The health center requested assistance in accompanying Roxana from the organization, as the NGO is engaged in psychosocial support of people with increased risk of infection, as well as people living with HIV.

Upon arrival, the social worker of Positive Initiative received information from the nurse of XX village that the pregnant woman was not currently present at her place of residence. The nurse took a social assistant from the village administration with her and started searching for her. They later found her in an abandoned house at the edge of the village. The social assistant questioned the girl about what had happened. The pregnant woman said that the day before she had met a relative in the village, who told her that she had HIV infection and her baby would be taken away from her. The girl was frightened and hid, which is natural for her mental state. Also, the owner of the house where the pregnant woman was living at the time told the Positive Initiative staff member that if the girl had AIDS, she was against her living in the house. That same day, a relative of the pregnant woman told paralegal that the previous evening, residents had discussed that the girl had AIDS at the village store. The final diagnosis had not yet been confirmed at that time.

At this point, the girl gave birth and was found temporary accommodation at Misiunea Socială Diaconia a Mitropoliei Basarabiei, where she will be fully cared for for a year and made sure that she takes ART and gives the baby everything it needs.

As a result, a complaint was sent to the Equality Council of the Republic of Moldova about the disclosure of confidential data related to the person’s health condition. A meeting was organized with the head of the village, social assistant and family doctor, where the beneficiary is registered. At the meeting, the issue of violation of her rights was raised and the consequences of such actions were communicated to civil servants. A response to the request submitted to the Equality Council remains pending.

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