Response stories

Protection against discrimination in women’s consultation

Yulia turned to the women’s consultation of one of the healthcare facilities in Kyiv to get advice on pregnancy registration. She was terrified and anxious about her HIV-positive status.

During the consultation, the gynecologist who conducted the appointment, after getting to know about Yulia’s HIV-positive status, started telling her off: “What are you thinking about? You have AIDS! You will give birth to a sick child. I do not advise you to give birth at all as there will be problems later. Moreover, the child will be born with defects, which will be your fault.”

Such doctor`s behavior was not only unreasonably aggressive, but it also deprived Yulia of receiving proper medical advice and care. The frightened and frustrated girl turned to the partner charity organization hotline “Positive Women,” where she received support and advice on further actions.

Yulia has been explained that as she takes antiretroviral therapy and has high adherence to the treatment, her viral load can be zero, and it does not interfere with a healthy pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby. Thanks to the support of the “Positive Women” organization, Yuliya was redirected to amicable and tolerant medical professionals; they provided her with necessary medical care and counseling regarding her pregnancy. Thus, she was able to receive a decent level of medical assistance despite her HIV-positive status.

The girl was also recommended to make a written claim to the head doctor of the healthcare facility regarding the discriminatory attitude of the gynecologist, but she refused.