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Gujarat Hospital pastes sticker on HIV+ woman

CNN-IBN
Jun 22, 2009 at 01:09am IST

New Delhi: In a case of discrimination, humiliation and insensitive treatment to an HIV positive patient in Gujarat's Jamnagar a woman who tested positive for HIV has been branded in public.

The government hospital in Jamnagar singled out the 27-year-old pregnant woman by pasting a sticker on her head declaring her HIV+ status.

"I was in the hospital on Wednesday for a routine check up during my pregnancy when the staff here pasted a sticker with HIV+ written on my forehead. I don't know why have they done this?" said the woman.

When she approached a local NGO they came to support her and took up the issue with the hospital.

The hospital owned up but said it was a policy.

"All types of patients come here. The strip has been placed on the forehead of the patient for easy identification. It helps the nurse to identify the special case and it is a policy of the hospital to place a strip on the forehead of the patient. I am willing to apologise in writing on behalf of anyone who has done this but these people are not willing to listen to anything," said Gynaecology Department head at Jamnagar government hospital Dr Nandini Anand.

But the big questions are:

  • Is the government aware of the fact that HIV+ positive patients are being labelled with stickers in its hospitals?
  • How can the government allow its hospitals to label and discriminate against HIV+ patients?
  • How many other hospitals in India are practicing such a policy?
  • Who is responsible for the humiliation that this woman and others like her had to face?

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