Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HIV Patients in Yemen Face Hospital Evictions

Donald G. McNeil, Jr. reports in The New York Times that a human rights group, Human Rights Watch, has sounded alarm bells about the fact that HIV-positive patients are being thrown out of the hospital in Yemen ("HIV Patients in Yemen Face Hospital Evictions").

In two particularly troubling examples highlighted by McNeil, a woman in labor and another experiencing seizures were denied care due to their HIV-positive status.

While Yemeni law protects the right of HIV-positive citizens to have access to adequate healthcare, in practice, large-scale health providers, particularly in the central city of Sanaa, often discriminate against the HIV-positive segments of the population by refusing service, a practice that is often accompanied by public humiliation (one woman's HIV-positive status was loudly revealed in a hospital waiting room).

Though I was unable to find a specific reason for this discrimination against HIV-positive populations, my hunch is that it has something to do with the unfortunate association between HIV and the LGBTQ community. Yemen is considerably far right, particularly socially, of American politics, and I could see where discrimination against the queer community might play out in the form of discriminating against HIV-positive patients.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/04/health/hiv-patients-in-yemen-face-hospital-evictions.html?ref=health

--Shubha Raghvendra

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