The woman from Novokuznetsk, who had been infected by an ex-partner who regularly beat her, turned to journalists at the AIDS center and the center for violence. Our site publishes its story as part of a discussion about the necessity or redundancy of punishment for the deliberate transmission of HIV.
Once a year Natalia and a friend undergo a prophylactic medical examination: fluorography, a GP and gynecologist reception, tests for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis. Before she did the tests in November 2016, she did not worry – she had a relationship with a steady partner for two years (at that time she was already), she had never used drugs, had not done any surgery – she was there sure she did not have to worry about anything.
At the beginning of December, the woman returned for test results. The infectious disease doctor reported that after two blood tests he discovered HIV. Natalya immediately realized that she was infected with an ex-partner. "The doctor asked me:" What do you think, where? Do you know the source of the infection? ", I said it was my ex, I called his last name and she stepped into the computer, said" Yes, that's how we are registered. "I do not know if this is legal, but that's how I learned everything."
Natalya left the medical center and asked a nearby man for a phone to call the first: "My number was blocked for him, but he answered with an unknown person, I said," Hello. I have HIV. & # 39; He replied: "Well, cool!" And hung up. Then I went to the bus stop, got on the minibus and he already sent me an SMS to my number: "God bless you!" ".
"This is how I learn your life."
She met Andrey in 2014. He lived in the neighboring town of Prokopyevsk, an hour's drive from Novokuznetsk. The first time they went to each other, Natalia went to live with him. "He had an apartment with four rooms in Prokopyevsk and I had a modest odnushka, so they usually lived with him, but with my money: he did not work, everything he did gave him parents, it confused me a bit, but I hoped that I could push him to go to work, to become independent. "
The relationships were tense. Andrei often put a hand on Natalia and yelled at her. "There was no such thing as dumping, kicking and slapping me," Natalya recalls. "But there were these constant buttocks, arm turning, as soon as I threw a chair at me, but I avoided it." When he dropped a woman from the car when they were together in Kemerovo, she stayed in a strange city in a shirt and shorts, without money and a telephone. "Every time after such quarrels, he explained that it was me who provoked him, that he was just angry and that I was chasing him." Sometimes he explained that his actions were useful, he said, "That's how I learn your life." Humble yourself, stop fighting me. "
The strongest fight between Natalia and Andrey took place on March 8, 2016. He was jealous because of a friend's sms greetings. "During a fight, he choked me, hit me several times, broke my lip, I immediately went to Novokuznetsk, where friends met me, took me to the injury – then I took a beating for the first time."
Natalya did not submit the application, she regretted to ruin the life of the previous friend and did not want to make the story public. Moreover, she believed that she herself was the fault of the constant rattles, so she returned to him, they were together for another six months. Natalya discovered her diagnosis two months after disintegration.
From that moment until February 2017 she was deeply depressed. Natalia's friends began to worry that she was not interested in life and brought her to an appointment with a psychiatrist. "But I did not get treatment from him right away, I decided to treat a psychologist first Sessions helped me to understand that I lived in a violent relationship all this time." Another month a woman spent in the psychiatric hospital of Novokuznetsk: doctors insisted on the need for a hospital and medical treatment.
After the dispensary she continued the treatment, but now on an outpatient basis. She still swallowed antidepressants, but she was still in a bad state: she felt both morally and physically bad, it was difficult to work. At that time she worked in the management company for the maintenance of the housing stock, it was necessary to constantly communicate with people, but her head did not think at all. Eventually she was asked to resign. Natalya did not argue, she understood that nobody would keep such an employee.
"During a fight, he choked me, hit me several times, broke my lip"
At the same time she wrote to the ex-boyfriend that she would prosecute him for maltreatment and infection, and offered to compensate her for the things he ruined for her (ripped clothes, broke her hair), and also to give back the money she had him had transferred card: about 30,000 rubles came out.
After learning about possible claims, Andrey came to Novalia in Novokuznetsk, wanted to make peace. "He started to tell me about the marriage that he had plans for me. And I took it. It was not great, but I still had feelings for him. Although I insisted that it would be necessary to repair the damage, despite the fact that we are together now. & # 39;
By September 2017, the relationship began to deteriorate again, Andrew began to raise his voice, to behave rudely. She did not wait for the termination of the relationship: she went home and made two statements to the police about HIV infection (Article 122 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and death threats (119 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). "Before I communicated with Andrey, I gathered all the information that I had a negative status, that he did not tell me about his status." But the case did not start because of the lack of crime. The police explained that they did not need it, "the case was very awkward".
The second case had to be brought under Article 116 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (beatings), but after a statement and a story the women, for one reason or another, qualified him as a death threat and closed them the absence of corpus delicti & # 39 ;. Natalya filed complaints twice, but they were rejected. She did not fight anymore. "It was hard for me each time to go to Prokopyevsk, to walk uselessly from office to office, to listen to members of staff who called to the whole department:" Well, this one got infected with HIV, well, yes, that infected. " I realized I can no longer do that, and I decided that I would not regain my health, but I do not have money and nerves anymore. & # 39;
Article 122 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation is one of the most controversial in the Criminal Code: it does not contain a clear description of the circumstances under which responsibility for HIV-positive persons occurs. That is to say, any person who knew about his status and transferred (possibly unintentional and even protected) HIV infection can be put on trial. "When a person registers, he writes a receipt that, if he infects someone, he is criminally responsible for it, usually as a basis for a criminal case", explains lawyer Lyudmila Kiseleva. Natalya does not know if Andrei wrote a receipt when he was registered, but later she heard from him that since 2010 he has been aware of her HIV status.
"She made a statement to the police, but they did not start a case there, they explained that they did not need it," it is very awkward "
According to Anna Rivina, director of the Center for Work with the Problem of Violence, Anna Rivina, HIV status affects the situation of women who are exposed to domestic and sexual violence. "Unfortunately, these things are related: women who experience violence are at greater risk of becoming HIV-positive and women with HIV are more likely to be victims of violence," says Rivina. – It turns out that a woman should not only be ashamed of the fact that she herself is responsible for the wrong choice of a man and what happened to her, but also that she has a positive status, double stigma. This situation shows once again that women are left alone with the problem. Neither the state nor society wants to help them. & # 39;
Almost a year later, in November 2018, bailiffs came to Natalia. She learned from them that her apartment, which she bought in 2011 with a mortgage from the VTB Bank, is now being arrested – the court was held in July. After she was fired from work, the woman could not repay the loan regularly and she knew about the debt, but no one informed her about the trial and the subsequent arrest.
Leaving without work, she started calling the bank, explained that she had paid regularly for five years, but due to the circumstances she could not continue to pay the mortgage. She was answered the whole time: "Yes, yes, your application is working, we will contact you."
Natalia discovered with a lawyer if she could do anything to revise the decision. It turned out that the bank has the right not to inform the client of the decision of the court. "I really want to save the house and have never refused to pay the mortgage, I immediately called the bank, asked for the loan period to be extended, delayed, but no, or I pay half a million, or my apartment is sold and they put me out of the way. & # 39;
Natalya can not sell an apartment either: she has already been arrested, there are few buyers and they are not ready for a complicated deal. She also failed to re-credit: at all the banks she applied to, she did not receive a loan. "Afterwards, on the advice of the bailiff, I went back to VTB, but I was told that nothing could be done about it."
When the apartment is taken away, Natalia does not know. Come at any time. Now she is trying to find a job to at least be able to maintain. "I am enrolled in the employment office, there is no work for me yet, and at a place where I was arranged, I was asked to make a medical book, which means I had to be told about the status, but I was not finished, especially after the words of the recruiter: "Well, it's not difficult for you to make a medical book, you do not have AIDS" I was refused elsewhere because of my age, but I do not want to name the company . "
Now the woman does not work officially, she continues to drink antidepressants (they are given free in the pharmacy), she started ARV therapy and she lives on unemployment benefits – 1105 rubles. Natalia hopes to find a suitable job in the next two weeks. "If I do not succeed, I will work as a cleaner for 9,000 rubles, but I'm not sure if I can get my apartment back and survive with this money."
"It is difficult to assume that the story will have a positive end," says Rivina. – First, statistics and legal practice speak about it. Secondly, all cases of an adequate solution cost the advocates of the defendants serious efforts. For example, you can recover the case of Galina Katorova. It is difficult to say that the state will recognize its responsibility to protect the victim. But in any case their rights must be protected and pursued in order to restore the breached law. And, of course, the mechanism of publicity can influence something. We hope so. "
Cases in which males intentionally infect their HIV partners are rare in Russia. Recently, as the press service of the Bashkir-prosecutor's office reported, the district court bank Ordzhonikidze of the city of Ufa condemned a 37-year-old resident of a crime under Article 122 (3) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (HIV infection of two or more persons by a person who was aware of this disease) and sentenced him to six years in a penal colony.
And this is not the only news, sentences in Article 122 are made in Russia, but not often, but regularly. At the same time, the world's top 20 researchers at the XXII International AIDS Conference 2018, held in the summer of 2018 in Amsterdam, stated that scientific studies clearly indicate that the criminalization of HIV transmission is ineffective and harmful.
Nowadays, the deliberate transfer of HIV or the non-disclosure of someone's status to a partner is punishable, but this practice, in combination with stigmatization and prejudices about HIV, forces people to hide their status more often and to seek health care less often.
Rivina considers Article 122 of the Russian criminal code to be discriminatory. However, in her opinion, despite the ambiguity of the article, domestic rapists must be held responsible for their crimes when they deliberately aggravate the victim's life. She is convinced: "The state is not interested in protecting victims of domestic violence, even when it is permitted, if not the most progressive legislation."