Response stories

Maternity clinic staff demanded money and protective supplies due to the would-be mother’s HIV status

Stigma and discrimination by health care workers are still a major barrier for HIV-positive women in Ukraine. Every other HIV-positive woman learns about her HIV status during pregnancy or when receiving treatment for some serious condition or disease, while gynecological care remains a major area of human rights violations for women living with HIV.

A client approached the REActor and reported being forced to pay money to the doctors at the maternity clinic under the guise of charitable contributions. Additionally, due to the woman’s HIV-positive status, health workers gave her a long list of things to buy at her own expense, as she would be needing a lot of protective medical and hygienic supplies during childbirth, which are outside the financial scope of the health center in question.

The REActor immediately called the hotline of the local Ministry of Health and the chief physician of the medical institution involved. The violation of the patient’s rights by health workers was resolved, and the woman was told that she would not need to pay anyone anything or buy any protective accessories.