HIV-positive man says denied treatment, Delhi High Court orders enquiry

Post Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up two government hospitals and their doctors for allegedly denying treatment to an HIV-positive man, who had visited the facilities after sustaining injuries on his left leg and shoulder in an accident.

In the plea, the man claimed discrimination by Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital, as well as denial of treatment by their doctors.

The man had alleged that he was abused verbally for not disclosing his HIV status and was refused treatment. He further said that the hospitals violated the laws and guidelines laid down in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017.

The plea said that as per the law, there is a necessity for effective care, support and treatment for HIV and AIDS. The allegations were refuted by the hospitals, which said that the patient was given medical treatment, but was not satisfied with it.

Taking note of the submission by the petitioner’s counsel, and after perusing his medical records, a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla said what is “discernible” is that “none of the hospitals which appellant approached noted that he was HIV-status patient, who was under the law entitled for the treatment”.

“This is a blatant instance of discrimination… He has been counselling AIDS patients. Would he be so foolish to not disclose his condition,” the court told the counsel for the hospitals and the Delhi government.

The bench directed the Delhi government to set up an enquiry panel comprising the medical superintendents of both hospitals, as well as a representative each from the Health Department and National AIDS Control Organisation.

Source: The Indian Express, 10 May 2018