Aneela, a Transgender with HIV+ dying unattended in Islamabad calls for help

Aneela, a transgender HIV+ patient at PIMS hospital in Islamabad. PC: TD
By: Asim Nawaz Abbasi/Editor/IAS Member

Islamabad: A transgender named ‘Aneela’ seems to be living her final days of life unattended in Islamabad’s PIMS hospital and is calling for help to government and civil society. Diagnosed with HIV+ couple of years ago brought to capital’s hospital on Sunday 8th September, 2019 by members of local organization Dareecha working on health rights of Transgender and MSM community of Rawalpindi.

If not elsewhere, In Pakistan AIDS still remains a significantly stigmatized condition. AIDS stigma and discrimination continue to influence people living with and affected by HIV, as well as their health-care providers. Unless stigma is conquered, the illness will not be defeated. It is the stigma that no one from her family nor from the community wants to stay with Aneela in the hospital in this hour of need. The doctors are playing their part (good or bad) who knows because there is no one to observe.

The Dayspring team visited her after knowing about the case through a leader of Trans community Nayyab Ali’s facebook post. Since the day she was brought to hospital, she is unattended and no one was there to look after her. “I am alone here and i have severe body pains, please ask them to give an injection so that i can sleep” said Aneela while talking to our team.

She further told that she was in a relationship with a man and was also taking drugs that led to this deteriorating situation, and was diagnosed with HIV+ 2 years ago but she didn’t visit any hospital till the day she was brought here.

While answering, when inquired about her health condition, the doctor told that the patient has low CD4 count with some other serious problems in his body. She didn’t further comment saying we cannot tell about Aneela’s health without her permission.

Talking to The Dayspring Nayyab Ali a transgender rights worker said that no one from even within the community is ready to be her attendant because of the stigma associated with this disease. “After my call on social media many people reached her, brought her food but she needs an attendant till she gets better” Nayyab Said.