The infectious disease doctor’s announcement rang in Tamara’s head like heavy hammer blows. If a pit had appeared under her, she would have jumped and stayed there. She absolutely refused to believe that she got this „shameful disease” . As if everything she had gone through until she was 22 wasn’t enough.
The family doctor looked at her with disgust. The infectious disease doctor kept waving his hands around, trying to explain to her that „it’s not that bad and that you can live with this virus, that even rich people have it and everyone is fine”.
Tamara struggled to get out of her chair, her knees were soft and her hands shaking. All sorts of heavy thoughts swarmed in her head. She no longer responded to the white-coated man’s encouragement or the family doctor’s instructions.
She stepped out into the narrow corridor, laid with mats woven from multi-coloured cords, and leaned against walls dyed a smoky blue. She passed mutely the women lined up on the wooden chairs, who were asking her insistently if she would call the „doctor who had come all the way from town” to see them and headed for home.
The alleyways of the hamlet seemed too narrow, the spring sun too hot, and the houses, scattered all over the black, sooty hillside, resembled giants that day, pointing their fingers at her, trumpeting to everyone through the open doors that „Tamara has HIV”.
„My God, what kind of life have I come to? At least let my child be healthy. I’m lost,” she said to herself, patting her belly the size of a watermelon. She was seven months pregnant with her fourth child.
At home, she found everything just as she had left it. The three children, born one after the other, played around the yard unrestrained, while her parents tended the cattle and put feed in the manger. Her mother, seeing her wax yellow, approached and asked softly:
– What’s wrong with you, girl?
Her voice was dry in her throat. Only her burnt lips moved.
– I’ve got that disease, Mom. AIDS!
The old woman nearly fainted. She let out a cry of despair, quickly stifled by sobs. Her father came to the rescue, dragged her into the house, laid her on the bed, and splashed water on her face.
Tamara did not get up from the stool she had been sitting on. And so, she stood stunned by the door. „My mother couldn’t recover. She has been laying there for a long time. I mean, the only daughter she’s ever had, and with such an illness?!”
They didn’t kick her out of the house, as Tamara expected. Instead, they have started to reproach her for choosing that kind of husband and blaming him for everything that had happened: “you have chosen your husband by yourself, so now live with it”.. She wished she could find some support from them, to say, „Well, let it be, it happens,” but she never found it, and never would. Even if the reproaches have diminished, as the years passed.
At the time, the husband was away for several weeks working in the Russian Federation. Tamara decided to tell him about the virus when he would return. She thought it would be best.
For the next two months, until the birth of her fourth child, she kept on mumbling. She was trying to find the answer to the question, „Where did I get it?”.
Her mind stopped at two scenarios. The first – that she had got it from her husband, who was a real “lady’s man”. If, that morning when he’d come home with a bruised neck, she’d kicked him out the door… But „what would the children do without a father?”.
The second scenario came from between the hospital walls. „At two months of pregnancy, when I got the evidence that I was pregnant, everything was fine. There was nothing wrong with me. At five months, I went for check-ups again, and still had nothing. At seven months, I was infected. I think that at two months, when a young and inexperienced gynaecologist checked me, it seemed to me that he had checked another woman with the same instrument without cleaning it.”
She wasn’t sure. Neither about the first nor the second scenario.
According to national statistics, from 1987 to 2020, a cumulative total of 13,656 people with HIV, 4,437 AIDS cases, and 3,879 deaths were registered in the Republic of Moldova, including the left bank of the Dniester River.
Deaf. That’s how Tamara labelled God 13 years ago. He didn’t listen to her prayers – to bring Ionel into the world in good health. The woman didn’t even get to rejoice at his birth, as she had with her other children. „Everything started in the hospital.”
She arrived in Balti on the eve of 7 April 2008. As soon as doctors found out she had HIV, they isolated her in a ward. A few hours later, a gynaecologist told her bluntly: ‘I’m not giving you a caesarean!’ Tamara tried to fight back, insisting that she was not recommended to give birth naturally. At least that’s what she knew from a doctor in Chisinau, who consulted her when she was eight months pregnant. However, the gynaecologist was not convinced.
After the natural birth, she spent seven days alone in the same room. She says that during this time, no one came to check her. Only a nurse visited her at one point to disinfect the baby’s navel, which had become too dry.
She asked the nurse if the little one was doing well and if he was healthy. But she didn’t answer anything. She just shrugged.
„Just as I was leaving the maternity ward, a lady doctor approached me. I didn’t know if Ionel had HIV or not. We were tested and had to wait for the result. That lady spoke to me so nicely, I thought I would break down crying when I heard her. She soothed all my wounds with her warm words.”
At home, she acted like a runaway. She didn’t show herself to the world. „I haven’t been out anywhere for a few months. It seemed like everyone was watching me and everyone knew.”
At the beginning of the summer, her husband Petre came from Moscow. She told him he needed to be tested for HIV. He, she recalls, received the news without any emotion. After having been confirmed positive, Tamara was left with the thought of her first scenario and a great emptiness in her heart. She was not blaming him. She was just cursing the day she met him.
„Risk situations for medical staff attending the birth-giving process can occur both in the case of natural childbirth and caesarean birth. Physicians need to know that universal precautions measures provide them with a very high degree of protection, including against highly transmissible viruses, such as hepatitis.
At the same time, doctors know about post-exposure prophylaxis. (ARV drugs given no later than 72 hours after the accident for 28 days will prevent HIV infection). There should be no cases of doctors refusing to provide the indicated medical care”, says Svetlana Popovici, doctor and ART coordinator at the Coordination Unit of the Program for prevention and control of HIV / AIDS and STI infection in the Republic of Moldova.
The priest still didn’t know Tamara had HIV. The woman deduced this from his attitude when she approached him to baptize her son.
He told her to come on a Sunday. She also asked if he would be okay with baptizing the boy in the same water with another new-born. ‘They will be practically brothers’ the priest said. Tamara was obviously delighted. „Why should the poor man go to all that trouble and do the same work twice!”
That Sunday, she put on her best clothes, bought towels for the ritual and set off excitedly for the church, together with her husband and some relatives.
Tamara is a sturdy woman with broad shoulders, shoulder-length black hair and strong hands. She walked along the road and smiled „even at the sparrows on the fence”. She was happy that not everyone in the village knew she had HIV, as she thought.
In the church, there was silence enveloped in the smell of incense. Candle flames were wavering in the shaded windows. The first baptism was already over. „How so?” asked Tamara puzzled. She arrived 15 minutes earlier. „I didn’t understand anything.”
The priest’s hesitation shook her out of the state of bliss that had gripped her earlier. And as she turned a corner of the church to see the family doctor, fear and despair took hold of her. „Everything was clear to me.”
The priest mumbled an excuse:’the doctor told me to put boys separately, as Ionel was sick’.
Sweat trickled down the woman’s wrinkled forehead. She felt ants crawling up her head, marching martially towards her spine. „Suddenly he was marginalized. I felt sick, as if somehow I was covered in wolf’s hair and I was so weird, that no one wanted to look at me, no one needed me, and they were starting to push me aside.”
Later, the family doctor apologized for revealing her status, but it was too late, Tamara notes. „That didn’t help. All hell broke loose.”
With all apologies, the doctor even today treats her with fear and coldness. And she continued to make mistakes one after the other. „Last year, I had to go to a summer camp for HIV-positive people. I needed a referral from my GP. When I took it to the organizers, they started laughing, telling me, ‘She’s doing a good job, this doctor of yours. Why did she write down HIV? Who needed it?’„
„In summary, four out of ten people living with HIV reported experiences when their status was communicated to someone without their consent,” says Svetlana Plămădeală, UNAIDS Moldova country manager, referring to a 2018 research and measurement tool on stigma and discrimination among people living with HIV in Moldova.
Although medical staff are required by law to maintain medical secrecy, confirms Svetlana Popovici, a physician and ART coordinator at the Coordination Unit of the HIV / AIDS and STI Infection Prevention and Control Programme in the Republic of Moldova.
„Unfortunately, we still encounter such cases, when the doctor discloses the patient’s status. At the same time, doctors, according to the deontological norms, must not forget and show a respectful and empathetic attitude, whatever the health problem the patient is facing”, concludes Popovici.
From all the information she received from the infectious disease doctor seven months into her pregnancy and from a doctor in Chisinau a month later, Tamara had a few things she knew firmly she had to do: give birth by C-section, take pills every day, feed the baby formula milk powder and administer some anti-HIV syrups.
The C-section didn’t work. Taking pills she stuck to, for the most part. But she didn’t give Ionel any anti-HIV. „I didn’t get anything from the hospital,” the woman apologizes.
Instead, as she knew from the two doctors, she fed Ionel powder milk. He went to the district centre every week to buy it. From Ionel’s allowance. Even though the law stipulated that he was entitled to „free artificial feeding”.
„Powder milk was supposed to be given to them [the state]. They still had to give [HIV] syrups, from Chisinau. That was the situation then, it was not yet decentralized. The fact that she didn’t come was her problem. She didn’t understand anything. It’s the mother’s responsibility. We are not the police, running after them and forcing them,” said Iurie Climașevschi, an infectious diseases doctor and coordinator of the National Programme for Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections.
In the meantime, about three months after Ionel’s birth, Tamara went to town. As usual, she withdrew money from the bank and bought two cans of formula. She was on her way to the bus station when a car suddenly braked next to her and someone shouted: ‘Get in faster! Your baby’s in intensive care!’. It was her brother. He told her that Ionel had vomited blood.
From that day until he was seven months old, Ionel was in and out of hospitals. District, municipal and republican. All this time, Tamara had the worst experiences of her life and endured the most humiliating words. „I aged 100 years in one year.”
First of all, that they wouldn’t let her stay with the baby, that she was more in intensive care than on the ward. She had to sneak under hospital windows and peek through the glass. Occasionally, though, a nurse would take pity on her and leave her by the boy at night. „You know, I don’t want anyone to see what I saw. My little boy sat crucified, his hands tied to a board, and numb. He’d be crying until evening, when I’d come and take him by the hand. Only then would he calm down.”
When the doctors in the region didn’t know what to do, they took Ionel to Chisinau. On the way, Tamara also witnessed her son’s cardiac arrest. Then, once in the capital, she went hungry. „They wouldn’t let me stay with the boy and I found some mattresses in a basement. There I slept and waited for the moment they would let me [see him]. I wasn’t getting anything, not even any borscht.”
But the moment when Ionel had to have some blood tests done was the most painful, when the doctor, after a colleague whispered something in his ear, reproached Tamara: „You animal! If you knew your child was infected, why did you push him into my arms?!’ Then it was the most heart-breaking and painful moment. I hoped that he wasn’t sick yet, but they [already] knew he was sick…”
In the Republic of Moldova, anti-HIV treatment became available for infected people only in 2003, 16 years after the first case was registered. „Until then, we were treating symptomatically. If you were diagnosed, after 5-7 years you would die,” recalls Iurie Climașevschi, an infectious disease doctor and coordinator of the National Programme for Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Iurie Climașevschi acknowledges that elements of discrimination against people with HIV still persist in the medical system, but says things are changing. „Before, if they found out they had a patient with HIV, nobody wanted to go near them. Now discrimination has decreased a lot. People are starting to understand that HIV is no better than hepatitis C.”
After Ionel started receiving antiretroviral treatment, „some syrups”, as Tamara recalls, „the boy stopped vomiting and felt much better”. After four months in hospital, Tamara and Ionel got off the bus to the village. Her husband was waiting for them at the bus stop. But he didn’t ask her anything. She said nothing. She just asked him to hold Ionel so she could rest her arms.
It was autumn, and a sharp wind was blowing. At that moment, Tamara felt a great injustice, accompanied by a hunger that turned her stomach inside out. She left Petre for a few moments, just long enough to kiss the boy, then she laid a torrent of blows on him, without caring if passers-by looked at her.
„All because of you!”
One evening, Tamara went to the village shop. A dim bulb was hanging over the scales and the shop assistant, leaning her elbows on the counter, was leafing through a debt book.
– Get out now! I’m not giving you anything! the shopkeeper threw at her.
Stunned by what she heard, Tamara couldn’t make up her mind what it was all about, but she managed to babble:
– I want a loaf of bread! Please! What’s the matter with you?
– Out! Go and call your mother or father. I’m not giving you anything. You’ve got that disease and I don’t want you to make me sick.
She was stunned, Tamara recalls. She burst out crying and walked out. Outside, she didn’t know how to deal with her seething humiliation. She sat down on a rock stuck at the intersection of two winding roads in the hamlet. She wanted to get home and beat her husband to death. „It’s only because of him that everything happens to me.”
People living with HIV/AIDS are the second most discriminated social groups in Moldova, second only to the LGBT community. The data is documented by the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Exercise (SCORE), organized in 2018 by the UN.
According to the same study, 60% of respondents said they would not want to live in the same community as people in that group. At the same time, 31% of the general population characterize people with HIV/AIDS as „miserable”, „dangerous”, shows another study on the Survey on Perceptions and Attitudes towards Equality in the Republic of Moldova.
In another study „Perceptions on human rights„, the 2021 edition commissioned by the Office of the People’s Advocate states that people living with HIV have noticed that they most often face violations of their social rights and the right to health. Some medical staff avoid carrying out some medical procedures if they know the patients’ HIV status or have a behaviour towards them perceived as disrespectful, and these situations cause patients to hide their status”, it is mentioned in the study.
„In Moldova, virtually every person with HIV self-stigmatizes in some form: either guilt, feelings of shame, decreased self-esteem, but also suicidal tendencies, and all these emotions and feelings keep them away from testing services, treatment and social life, negatively influences the quality of treatment, life and integration into society. At the same time, a treatment followed systematically reduces the viral load practically to zero and people no longer transmit the infection”, explains Svetlana Plămădeală, UNAIDS Moldova country manager.
She remembered how she first saw him. He was standing in front of her parents’ house, tired and bored, grinding a cigarette into the corner of his mouth. He brought a couple of trailers of corn from the hill with his tractor. „We had many animals and we needed feed for them.”
Tamara didn’t even notice the tall, burly man with gnarled hands. Instead, his dark eyes lit up. She offered to carry the feed for her. „It’s all right, geaghe [pop], I don’t need any help,” the 18-year-old girl replied boldly.
At the time, it didn’t even occur to her that this 32-year-old geaghe was going to become her husband. She wouldn’t have married him, she says, if she hadn’t given birth to a child at 15. The little boy complained to her one day that he had no one to play with and that the others made fun of him because he had no father.
„When I saw him come through the door crying, smelling of piss… They stripped him naked in the middle of the road and urinated on him. Nobody knows what was in my heart. I wish I was Andrușa, I’d show them, but who was I gonna fight? Their parents? Children learn from their parents: children go through life with everything they see and hear from their parents.”
So, when she realized that the tractor driver was courting her, she thought it would be an opportunity to stop being pointed out around the village as having no man in the house and no father to the child. „He’s 14 years older, and I thought maybe he had more sense than the first one, maybe he’s even better around the house, but I was wrong.”
With her head in her hands, her temples sizzling, Tamara cried on the cobblestones at the intersection of the two roads until the autumn chill cut her to the bone.
Today, if she could turn back time, she would explain to the shopping assistant „that you don’t get this disease like you think you do – just by drinking from a glass and that’s it. But at 20-something, you’re still immature.”
The HIV infection,is not transmitted by saliva or by touch, play, sports activities, etc., says the doctor and ART coordinator within the Coordination Unit of the Programme for prevention and control of HIV / AIDS and STI infection in the Republic of Moldova. „HIV is transmitted in three main ways: sexual, through blood and from mother to foetus. Saliva, sweat, urine, tears do not contain a sufficient amount of virus for HIV infection „, says Svetlana Popovici.
„Changing attitudes, in general, in the shortest possible time is not possible, whatever the phenomenon being addressed,” say representatives of the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and the Enforcement of Equality.
However, „changing attitudes involves touching on very sensitive issues related to education, stereotypes, institutional memory, customs, traditions rooted in the subconscious of society”.
This should be addressed „in the long term, through educational measures, information campaigns, awareness-raising campaigns”, etc. and „with the involvement of all stakeholders: the state, people living with HIV, national human rights institutions, civil society organisations”.
The villagers’ contempt did not only affect Tamara. One summer, Sofia, the woman’s eldest daughter, was playing football in front of the gate with several children. Out of speed and the desire to score a goal of her own, she bumped hard into a little boy and a toe on her right foot began to bleed. She then abandoned the game and went to the nearby well to wash the wound.
Next door, Tamara and a few neighbours were setting up the village. Suddenly, two of them started arguing „because of the children”. Tamara learned not to stick her nose where it didn’t belong and kept watching the play, her mind wandering far away.
‘Look at this woman! I’ll call the whole slum, and we’ll drive her out of the village with pitchforks!’ Tamara woke up as if from a dream when she understood that the neighbour’s threat was addressed to her. She still didn’t understand why she had taken it into her own hands. ‘We have to get them out with pitchforks,’ the neighbour continued, ‘We don’t need spidnici (from Russian – спидник, person infected with HIV/AIDS) in the village. Her children will make ours sick. You should go where you got this.’
Sofia was still at the fountain when the scene took place. She wished she hadn’t been there, and that the slum children, who were still reluctant to accept her at play, hadn’t heard any of the grown-ups’ reproaches. But it was too late. She bowed her head too and hurried into the yard.
Tamara’s blood rushed to her head. „I had too much from them already. I don’t let anyone offend my children, I could kill a man for doing that.”
– Listen, did I take your man from your side?
– Did I make you sick?
– Did I make your children sick?
For a few seconds, the women looked at each other without speaking. But in her mind, Tamara cursed and spat at them.
Once, the neighbours were her friends. She used to share the pies she received with them on Sundays when „times were hard and we ate only porridge”. She picked tobacco from the hillside or apples from the orchards with them. She played with them outside until the silver moon drove them inside the house.
They had respect for her then. They even nicknamed her „the tractor of the slum”, because nothing took place without her participation. „If I didn’t go out, no one would. I was doing all sorts of mischief, scaring people. My God, how many nights I ran through the cemetery! I was in charge.”
But all has been forgotten. Pleasant childhood memories are buried in an amnesiac past. But Tamara doesn’t hold a grudge against them. „But why should I be angry? They’re not thinking right. [They] don’t know what tomorrow might bring”.
In June 2021 in New York, the Republic of Moldova committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. This meant that in the next 9 years, the Republic of Moldova would reach several targets, including 0 cases of discrimination. But Iurie Climașevschi, coordinator of the national HIV/AIDS prevention and control programme, gives no assurances that these targets will be met, partly because the authorities do not give enough money to fight discrimination and stigmatization of people with HIV.
„The state has no funding for massive campaigns. There is funding from Global Fund sources. If it wasn’t for this funding, it would be limited to the usual lessons going through institutions, but the effect is zero. […] In the national programme we don’t have any separate activities for discrimination. They are includedin the campaigns that are organized in spring and winter. But there were no campaigns specifically aiming at anti-discrimination this year or last year.”
When Ionel went to kindergarten, Tamara already knew what to expect. So, after a week of adjusting, the woman went on her lunch break and tears filled her eyes. Ionel sat in a corner, alone at the table and with different cutlery from the other children. She begged both the teacher and the headmistress not to do it again. „Please don’t push him away, he’s a child. Let him play with the others, and when he eats, let him eat along with everyone else.”
Then the other brothers at school had to suffer too. No one wanted to be their mates, avoiding them even during school breaks. Even on Sundays, on the way to school, when the children got caught up in the whirlwind of a game and forgot all about it, there would be a village girl who would intervene: ‘Get away, you don’t know this disease, it will fill you up!’, remembered Sofia, who graduated from the 9th grade this year.
At some point, Tamara had to leave the parental home. She moved with her family to a slum at the top of the hill. She found a one-room wattle house smeared with clay, as it used to be in the old days. „It was like a beehive.” Instead, he had a large garden, which she planted with 400 tomato seedlings. „They all caught on.”
When the tomatoes were ripe, a neighbour’s chickens snuck through the dilapidated fence and pecked at her entire summer’s work. Tamara gathered a bucket of scraps and showed them to the old woman. The latter only gritted her teeth, admonishing her that she didn’t shut her hens up for her.
„You don’t have to do anything in such cases. How could you deal with someone who doesn’t know anything?”, Tamara reassured herself. But the chickens continued to invade her garden. She went to the old lady with a pot of pinched tomatoes the second and third time. If it didn’t help, she let the dog loose, to pick out „the plump ones”.
A few days later, Tamara woke up with her neighbour in her garden, shouting at the top of her lungs ‘that you have that disease, bloody wh**e! You’ve been f*** around and now you want to fill us all up’.
After a month of scandals and insults, bullying and shenanigans, Tamara gave up and moved to her grandfather’s house in another part of the village, where she still lives today. „By then, I think they all knew, big and small, that we had HIV. Every man in the village looked at me as if I were, how shall I say, that goddess who had risen from the grave… Pharaoh or what?… Mummy, damn! That’s how they looked at me.”
In the period 2016-2020, 11 complaints alleging discrimination on the grounds of HIV were filed with the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Equality. Among them, in only six cases the fact of discrimination was found, in two cases – discrimination in access to public goods and services, in two other cases – injury to dignity, and in 2 other cases – discrimination in the field of work.
The low number of complaints of HIV discrimination „does not mean that the rights of HIV-positive people are being observed,” the council’s representatives warn, „but only that victims of differential treatment are not confident about the finality of their complaints and the impact that filing a discrimination complaint will have.”
It’s been 13 years since she became infected with HIV, but Tamara still hasn’t escaped the villagers’ humiliation. „It’s just easier to get through it all now. When I walk through the village, I’m so happy that I’m the only one like this… I feel like a celebrity in the village. I have no stress with this illness. It was just only difficult at first. […] I’ve learned not to let it get to me. If I did, my hair would be all white at 35.”
Yet some incidents mark her anyway. In the pandemic, one of her sisters-in-law had her daughter’s wedding and called Tamara to help her prepare the dishes. The woman did her best to make sure her brother’s wife was happy with the peeled potatoes, grated carrots, and fried stews. But when she went to set the plates on the table, she was met by another sister-in-law who told her to ‘not touch the cutlery’ and, in general, to ‘keep her hands off’.
Since her sisters-in-law found out she had HIV, although they never blamed her, Tamara noticed how they have distanced themselves from her. Yet, deep down, she still hoped for a glimmer of respect and understanding.
„As I’m sick, nobody eats anything from me, I know that. On holidays, my sisters-in-law never allow me to do anything. You’d be stupid not to have the sense to think they know. It doesn’t take a university diploma to figure that out.”
She didn’t get mad at her sister-in-law. He thought long and hard and pondered coldly. She drew a line and came to the conclusion that she was the only one to blame for everything that happened to her. „It’s only because of the choices I make and because I didn’t have the brain to think logically then, as I do now.”
She has decided to resist in her own way by condemning herself and laying all the blame on herself. She asked the eldest son, who works as a policeman and is about to get married, to not tell his wife that she, her husband and Ionel have HIV. „If she finds out, she will leave you”, she said.
„No matter how much we don’t talk about HIV, it still remains a shameful disease. If only you wouldn’t get it from fooling around, but you do. I’m informed. I read a lot and understand it well, but people know nothing about it. Since this coronavirus, they’ve kind of forgotten about HIV. This one is more serious, and I can finally get some rest.”
In recent years, civil society has drawn attention to the fact that hate speech and incitement to discrimination are increasingly used in both political and religious contexts. In 2019 alone, the association Promo-LEX identified 835 cases of hate speech and incitement to discrimination affecting various groups of people.
At the same time, Promo-LEX experts warn that, based on the monitoring of previous electoral campaigns, discourse based on various forms of intolerance is an increasingly common tool used in electoral processes in Moldova.
Tamara agreed to tell her story only on the condition that we would not discuss it with the GP, the shop assistant or her parents and husband. Only for Sofia, her eldest daughter, she made an exception.
„The things [in the village] have just calmed down, and I don’t want to stir anything. If I called the doctor, she’d ask me why I’ve been complaining, and she’d say I’m bringing trouble again. But I’m fed up. I’ve forgiven the saleswoman, we supported each other, and I don’t want to mess up my relationships. God be with them.”
The conditioning also came about because, about four months ago, she got a job as a janitor at the town hall and doesn’t want to ruin the precious moments she gets to spend there. „The women at the Town Hall think so highly of me, I never expected to be respected by such great people. I was a nobody.”
Any person who is a victim of discrimination can lodge a complaint with the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality in person at its headquarters or via the COMPLAINT platform on https://egalitate.md/depune-o-plingere/.
Editor – Nicolae Cușchevici
Illustrations – Diana Roșcovan