HIV Advocates Story: Mikhail Golichenko and HIV Law

January 13, 2013

Meet HIV advocate Mikhail Golichenko, Senior Policy Analyst for the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Mikhail has worked for the Legal Network since 2010, focusing on drug policy issues in Russian speaking countries. As a part of a new HIVAdvocates video series, Mikhail shares his story to inspire others to speak up for those living with, or are vulnerable to HIV.

People living with HIV face many difficulties beyond the infection itself- stigma, discrimination, criminalization, and human rights violations being just a few. Mikhail aims to address human rights violations in legal battles with the help of his organization.

Do you know the legal requirements in your country surrounding those living with HIV? Are you required to be represented by a professional lawyer? Mikhail helps to educate HIV positive people about the legal processes in their home countries to prevent them from being taken advantage of.

Why is this work important? While many countries have signed and ratified treaties protecting those living with and are vulnerable to HIV, they are not necessarily implemented on the national level. Other issues surround those who aren’t aware of the legal representation requirements in their country, and those who don’t have access to the necessary support to either learn the requirements or to gain the representation. Proper education and support not only keeps those living with HIV from being taken advantage of, it also keeps them from being lost in the system.

Our newvideo series aims to continue to educate others through the personal stories of passionate and dedicated HIV advocates like Mikhail Golichenko.

Are you an HIV advocate? Share your story with us. Connect. Vocalize. Amplify.

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HIV/AIDS: Fearing the Unknown in China

January 13, 2013

Despite the HIV/AIDS prevention programs and introduction of policies to curb discrimination, the Chinese government is not doing enough to educate the general public about HIV and AIDS. With this ignorance, comes a multitude of obstacles for HIV and AIDS patients and advocates to overcome.

By law, medical facilities in China are not allowed to deny a person with HIV or AIDS the right to medical attention. However, strict penalties are not enforced when this happens.


Several HIV/AIDS patients with cancer have recently come forward with stories about being denied surgery. One man’s journey to receive surgery on his liver described how he was rejected from two hospitals before altering his medical documents at a third hospital in order to receive treatment.

This patient’s story recently broke in China, sparking intense debate on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Over 6,100 retweet and 4,800 comments were posted, with many calling the man a murderer, malicious, selfish, and despicable for jeopardizing the health of everyone in the hospital.


In response to the story, China’s Ministry of Health issued an emergency announcement banning hospitals from refusing HIV/AIDS patients. Supportive messages were issued by the Chinese government and CCTV, the national television station.

Although public words of support and sympathy were few and far between, some messages understood why he did it and asked people if they would have done the same in his shoes.

It is only with further education and advocacy that issues like these will no longer plague HIV and AIDS patients in China. Join us today to help fight the injustice that continues.

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