The struggle for a better life

E. from Kazakhstan, was arrested in a May 2012 in the “pogrom” against seropositive women. Her application for asylum will be examined in December.

Dialekti Angeli
Dialekti Angeli NewsMavens, Greece
The struggle for a better life - NewsMavens
Syringe. Pexels

Why this story matters:

She only managed to apply for asylum after more than a year in Greece, an application that will save her from the constant fear of being arrested and deported and allow her to have an AML and VAT number so she can continue to get treatment for HIV.

E. is a migrant from Kazakhstan and one of the seropositive women who were arrested seven years ago in a targeted police sweep based on Greece's notorious health provision 39A issued by the then-Health Minister, Andreas Loverdos, and later re-launched by Adonis Georgiadis an MP of the main opposing party New Democracy, causing outrage in the medical world both in Greece and abroad.

The next step is for her to be interviewed by the Asylum Service in December 2019. The Asylum Service will then be called upon to decide whether she meets the conditions of the subsidiary protection status granted to persons who are not considered eligible for political asylum but are exposed to a serious threat in their country of origin.

But let's hear E.'s story.

She and her family came to Greece from Kazakhstan when she was 12 years old. She never graduated from high school and started using drugs at a young age. In 2012, she was arrested and detained in Omonia’s P.D. during the pogrom against HIV-positive women. There, she was subjected to forced medical examinations in violation of any medical ethics. She was diagnosed as a carrier of the HIV virus.

Since then, she has been struggling to cope with the virus, her drug dependence, and also her public stigmatization -- all this without any support from her family, who has cut ties with her years ago.

It is clear that returning to Kazakhstan would condemn her to death, as no adequate treatment is offered to HIV carriers there. 

Details from the story:

  • Her everyday life is a constant and painful struggle, which is somewhat relieved by kind-hearted strangers. Even the medicines she had taken until recently was administered out of kindness by the doctors and employees of the Athens General Hospital, who could have turned her down since she does not have a social security number.
  • She felt so desperate when the police arrested her that she tried to put an end to her life by cutting her wrists.
  • "What I want more than anything is to get my papers. I also want to get a tattoo, some nice flowers, so that I hide the scars from the suicide attempt and go see my mom, my family. I just want to see them, even if they don’t…” she says.
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