Response stories

Protecting your rights and dignity: supporting a client of OST in Ukraine

Lyubov (name changed) is a woman living with HIV who used to inject drugs in the past. She is in a civil marriage with a man who is also HIV-positive and has a history of substance use. Both are patients of the OST program. On their way home from the drop-in center, where they had received self-administered medication, the couple was stopped by police officers. They began to humiliate them, treat them rudely, pick their pockets, and search them without any reason.

Although the clients informed the police that they were taking OST and showed all the necessary documents, no one listened to them, and the couple was taken to the police station. The woman called the organization. Upon hearing about such illegal actions of the police, the REActor and a social worker of the organization came to the defense of the couple. They contacted the police by phone with the doctor who had prescribed the drugs. The doctor explained that everything was legal and that the patients had no problems with taking the drugs. After that, the couple was released.

After coming to the organization with words of gratitude, the client refused to seek legal assistance because she did not believe that the police officers would be punished. She was also offered counseling by the organization’s psychologist and group training to restore her psycho-emotional state.

Also read:

Justice and dignity: a story of a woman living with HIV in Uzbekistan standing up for her rights

Threats and cyberbullying against a non-binary person in Kazakhstan