CAIRO (dpa) – People living with HIV are routinely denied treatment in Yemen’s healthcare system, Human Rights Watch said Monday.
The New York-based organization detailed the ordeal of HIV patients who had been refused treatment in both government and private hospitals.
Among them was a pregnant woman denied a caesarean delivery once doctors realized that she was HIV-positive.
In another case, an unconscious stroke victim suffering seizures was thrown out of a hospital emergency department, health professionals told HRW.
Her husband was then detained by the hospital’s security staff for 45 minutes before being released with a warning that he should “not cause any trouble in the future.”
Other HIV patients reported being overcharged for health services in private facilities as medical staff took advantage of their inability to get treatment in public hospitals, the rights group said.
HRW said a letter to Yemen’s health minister, detailing the cases, had received no response.
“Kicking sick people out of the hospital because they have HIV is not just discriminatory, it’s cruel,” said Nadim Houry, HRW’s deputy Middle East director.
“The Health Ministry should enforce Yemen’s law barring discrimination against people who are HIV-positive,” he added.
According to the United Nations, there were some 6,000 people living with HIV in Yemen in 2013.