Response stories

Request as discrimination: protecting the rights of HIV patients in Kazakhstan

Rayana (name changed), a woman living with HIV, faced a violation of her rights when trying to take a trip to a sanatorium. The staff demanded a certificate from the AIDS Center, which would have forced Rayana to disclose her HIV status. The woman did not want to do this, as she was eager to avoid possible negative consequences.

The staff’s demand to provide such a document is a violation of the client’s rights. Medical information, including HIV status, is strictly confidential and may not be disclosed without the patient’s consent. Staff of medical institutions are obliged to comply with these norms and not to demand disclosure of information that may lead to stigmatization or discrimination of the patient. 

To protect her rights, Rayana turned to REActors for help. In response to the sanatorium’s misconduct, the REActors prepared and wrote a complaint to the Public Health Department. The complaint emphasized that the institution’s demands contradict the laws on personal data protection and patients’ rights, and requested to take measures to restore justice.

The situation faced by Rayana emphasizes the importance of protecting the rights of patients with HIV and the need to respect the confidentiality of medical information. All healthcare providers must respect the rights of their patients and protect them from discrimination and stigmatization.

Also read:

Tajikistan has taken the first step to protect the rights and eliminate discrimination of citizens living with HIV

Empowering social justice in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: a call to collective action