HIV Positive Children Kicked Out of a Holiday Camp in Nizhny Novgorod Region

News10 June 2019

Sports Village staff refused to provide service to HIV positive children.

This was reported by the local media outlet Koza.Press on 3 June. The incident took place in Novinki Sports Village where about 50 HIV positive children were supposed to check in on 7 June together with their parents. The STEP Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Nizhny Novgorod, planned to hold the School for HIV Positive Little Ones there.

According to Olga Kuzmichyova, the Head of the Foundation, they had made an advance deposit for the children accommodation but the holiday camp administrator called her on 2 June and asked to take the money back claiming the staff of the village did not want to provide service to HIV positive children. The Head of the Foundation said she had tried to explain it to the administration that all the children took antiretroviral drugs, that HIV was not airborne and was not transmitted through non-sexual contact but they had replied, ‘We have kids of our own.’

When asked how they could learn about the children’s HIV status in the Novinki Sports Village, Mrs. Kuzmichyova told the media that the administration wanted to clarify what exactly the Foundation did, to which she replied that they helped people living with HIV.

‘It is a sheer shock to me that people are so outright ignorant and discriminatory against other people, especially children,’ the source cites Mrs. Kuzmichyova who was the first in Nizhny Novgorod to reveal her HIV status publicly.

The holiday camp administrator told the media outlet that about 10 employees had officially refused to provide service to children living with HIV on the grounds of the fact that they had children, too. According to one of the interviewees, who said her name was Natalia, they all know how immunodeficiency virus is spread but still they are frightened but the administration could not force the staff to work against their will. So in the end the money was returned to the STEP Foundation.

Previously, AIDS.CENTER published the story of a family from Iskitim who had adopted an HIV positive child and become a target of harassment in the city because of that.

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