A woman who disclosed her housemate’s status during an argument has been ordered by the HIV tribunal to pay her Sh250,000 as damages.
The Star learned of the decision delivered last month through court documents.
The court declared that the respondent had violated the provisions of the HIV and Aids Prevention and Control Act when she disclosed the claimant’s status as HIV positive.
The court said the respondent’s acts were wrongful and unlawful and the disclosure was unwarranted.
The claimant SNW had sued A.G. for disclosing her status while she was hosting a visitor. Her son was also present.
According to the court document’s, SNW had been living with A.G. at her house in Parklands, Nairobi, when an alteration occurred.
The claimant said that on February 17, 2018, the respondent came back to their house but refused to enter.
“She stood at the door and demanded that I bring her clothes and other personal items. I, however, declined to do so,” SNW said.
She said it was then that A.G. started hurling insults at her in front of her son and a friend who was consoling her on the death of her father.
“A.G. claimed I was going to die since I was HIV positive. I was shocked how she found out about my status yet I had not disclosed that information to her,” she said.
The claimant later found out her former housemate came to know of her status from a neighbour into whose house she moved after leaving.
The neighbour had previously insulted her and even reveal her status.
A witness identified as RW took the stand and testified against the respondent.
RW told the court that on the day in question, she had visited SNW who had just lost her father and she had gone to console her.
The witness said she was not aware of her friend’s HIV status until the respondent revealed it through insults.
The claimant filed the case at the tribunal for breach of confidentiality and abuse of her right to human dignity for disclosing her status without her consent.
She further said the respondent stigmatised and discriminated against her due to her HIV status.
As a result, the claimant said she suffered psychological pain, distress and suffering.
In the judgment, the seven-member tribunal said SNW violated the complainant’s confidentiality, thereby causing SNW pain, suffering and damage to her reputation.
If the respondent is unable to pay, the claimant can file another application requesting her to be compelled to obey the tribunal’s order.
The Star/ Malemba Mkongo