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Campaign highlights illegal treatment of HIV+ people

PinkNews Staff Writer April 30, 2007

Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has launched a new campaign today aimed at helping people with HIV.

It aims to ensure that they receive fair and equal treatment in healthcare.

The Healthy Respect campaign sets out the standards of care that people should receive from GPs, dentists and hospitals.

In the past, people with HIV weren’t always protected from discrimination.

But the law has changed and now covers everybody who knows they have HIV.

The Disability Discrimination Act says that it’s illegal to treat someone less favourably because they have HIV and applies to anyone providing goods, facilities and services to the public.

Will Nutland, Head of Health Promotion at Terrence Higgins Trust says:

“If a dentist or a doctor refuses to treat a patient because they are HIV positive, that’s against the law.

“If things do go wrong, there are organisations who can help sort the problem out.

“We want people to know that if they’re not getting the treatment they need, the campaign website and booklet can offer practical advice and information.”

THT launched the campaign after research demonstrated that some people had experienced difficulty accessing services.

Some of the more common problems that have been reported over the years included:

“When I went for tests in another hospital department, the nurse seemed nervous and put on two sets of gloves.”

“Receptionists at my GP’s mention my HIV status loudly, in front of other patients.”

“After the dentist found out I had HIV, I couldn’t get another appointment”

“The hospital says they can’t treat me because I’ve overstayed my visa.”

To find out more about Healthy Respect call THT Direct on 0845 12 21 200 or click here

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