HIV carriers of Moldova subject to severe discrimination
When we are talking about discrimination in Moldova, we are not referring only to the recent developments regarding the discrimination against gay people. There are many other types of severe discrimination some people deal with.
A recent investigation made by www.discriminare.md, an anti-discrimination related website, shows how people infected with HIV are discriminated by the civil society. A teenager used a hidden camera to record the discussion he had with the barber. After he registered for the haircut, the man told the barber that he is infected. He was rejected being told that they are not going to perform their job because “the barbers are afraid.”
“I think that every infected person should have their own barber,” one of the barbers said. She defended herself by saying that if she were to accept, she could be fined.
Ion Vlas of the Public Healthcare Center denied the statement. However, he said that the risk to infect someone at the barber is possible, although no cases have been registered so far.
“There is a danger if the tools are not correctly sterilized,” Mr. Vlas said.
Denis is a man infected with HIV and he was barred from using a public swimming pool.
“I intended to buy a monthly pass for the swimming pool and at the beginning there weren’t any issues. When I told them I am infected with HIV they didn’t know what to say. The administrator of the base told me to bring a medical certificate from my personal doctor stating that I am allowed to swim. She somehow told me to give up the idea because there are also children swimming in the pool,” the HIV-infected man said.
The lawyers say that all the persons, including those carrying HIV, should not be subject to discrimination.
“When we talk about the public services, the persons living with HIV have the same rights,” said Veronica Baratcari, PR and Advocacy Coordinator of the League of People Living with HIV.
When it comes to the services which imply the hygiene, the things become more complicated, she says.
“When the people don’t know the methods the disease is transmitted through, they fear be get in contact with such persons,” the woman said.
A doctor from a public swimming pool from Chisinau said that only the people with dermatological health problems are barred from using the pools.
“We should not prohibit their right and neglect them, because we break their dignity,” the doctor said, referring to the persons infected with HIV.
Adriana’s case is similar to Denis’. She has been carrying the infection for 10 years and until the moment she had opened up, she wasn’t discriminated. After breaking her leg, Adriana has been laying in bed for half a year, being rejected to have a surgery. She has been told to find a private hospital; otherwise she has no chances to recover. Her health insurance wasn’t of any help because the doctors didn’t give her any chances and hopes to survive.
All the citizens of Moldova are subject to respect of their rights under the Constitution, but there isn’t specified a specific mechanism which would enact particular measures to avoid discrimination against these people.