December 1 is World AIDS Day. In Tajikistan, the number of people with the human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS) is increasing.
The Tajik authorities call the general situation of the infection to be increasing and moderate, and at the same time, they express concern about the increase in cases of discrimination of people suffering from this disease in the society. Doctors say that suffering from this disease is not a death sentence, and if treated promptly, patients can live for many years.
31-year-old Madina (not her real name) from the city of Vahdat is infected with HIV/AIDS. He says that he got married at a young age with the will of his parents and only found out that he was sick when the second child was born. According to this young woman, her husband was on a work migration in Russia and this disease passed from her to him. Her husband died seven years ago and now Medina is left alone with her two children. However, her husband’s relatives deprived her of the house, claiming that she is sick and has no right to own the house of her late wife.
Medina said in a conversation with Radio Ozodi: “When I understood, life had no meaning anymore. I thought I would die today or tomorrow. My husband’s relatives hid their son’s illness from me.”
Jamoliddin Abdullozoda, the Minister of Health and Social Protection of Tajikistan’s population, at the last press conference of this ministry this summer, expressed concern about the increase in the number of cases of HIV infection in the country. He said, “In Tajikistan, 11 thousand 311 patients with immunodeficiency virus have been registered. In the first six months of 2023, 587 new cases of this disease were detected in the country.
This number is 29 times more than the same period last year. Meanwhile, 1067 children and adolescents under the age of eighteen were also registered with this disease in Tajikistan. All patients are covered by treatment. With proper treatment, even pregnant women give birth to healthy children. 2953 adult Tajik women are suffering from this disease,” said Abdullozoda.
Despite the free diagnosis and treatment of this disease in Tajikistan, there are many cases of violations of the rights of victims of this plague of the century. Mehragez Mukarramshoeva, a doctor of women’s diseases, mentioned the incident when a woman’s husband divorced her after learning about her illness. He said:
“There was a girl with medical education, but when she was diagnosed with this disease, her family fell apart. Her illness was discovered in the maternity hospital and her husband divorced her.”
Shamsiddin Sharifov, a urologist-andrologist at the Nasl private clinic, says that this disease is transmitted from person to person mainly during sexual intercourse or through blood. This Tajik doctor regrets that due to ignorance and lack of information, many people, when they learn about a person’s illness, quickly reject him:
Shamsiddin Sharifov said: “In the eyes of the people, this disease has become very scary, and if a person finds out that his friend or friend is sick with this disease, they will distance themselves from this person. They come to a decision that they should not get close to this person and think that they can get infected from him. Although it is enough to not have a blood relationship with the person suffering from this disease, if they are men and women, they should not have sexual intercourse without protective equipment. We may have one out of twenty applicants with HIV every day, but we do not prevent any of them and we provide them with medical assistance.”
Meanwhile, Izzatullo Yaqub, an official of the Republican Center for the fight against HIV/AIDS, told Radio Ozodi that medical representatives explain the requirements of the law to a person suffering from this disease. Because, according to him, the legislation of Tajikistan provides for free diagnosis and treatment and prohibition of any kind of discrimination against such patients. Moreover, specialists give psychological counseling to such patients and try to awaken in them the flame of continuing to live: “Until now, no one has lived with this virus because of the violation of his rights and freedoms, as well as the rude treatment of health care professionals. Despite our complaint, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the population of Tajikistan has not received an appeal in this regard.
The legislation of Tajikistan guarantees free treatment of these patients, including immigrants and stateless persons. However, patients and their relatives sometimes complain about lack of medicine and attention of doctors.
Source : Радио Озоди