Day 29 – Marta and Zayne (Part II)

Two days later, I had my beautiful baby boy, I called him Zayne, he was almost 4Kg when he was born!

[Read Part I of Marta’s story here]

We were moved into a shared room with 3 other mums and their newborn babies.

I noticed that when the nurses came to wash and change the babies, they would put on long gloves, goggles and aprons when they changed Zayne, quite different from what they wore when changing the other babies. I was so upset that my baby was being treated like this. When I told the doctor about this she said “well, the nurses need to protect themselves you know”. I just knew this was wrong, because you can’t catch HIV from changing a baby.

The final straw was when the doctor came to check up on my baby son in the ward and said in big loud voice for all the other mothers to hear “is this the HIV positive baby?”. I was so upset that now everyone in the ward knew about my HIV status, and my baby didn’t even have HIV.

It made me want to leave the hospital there and then. Ever since, I have not been able to trust doctors, and have panic attacks if I go near hospitals.

HALC helped me to make an anti-discrimination complaint against the hospital. We had a conciliation meeting and I was able to explain to the hospital how the way they treated me had affected me so badly.

Before we got to the hearing, the hospital agreed to introduce training for all staff about how to deal properly and respectfully with patients with HIV.  They also gave me compensation for making me suffer so much by their behaviour. I have put it in savings for Zayne’s education. I wouldn’t have had the strength to do this without HALC’s support and assistance. All I wanted was to make sure that this never happened to any other mums living with HIV.

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[all names and information that might identify any individual have been changed for confidentiality purposes]