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Hospital denies refusing to give a man HIV medication after he was raped

Jasmine Andersson November 24, 2017
A doctor giving the uncomfortable news (stevanovicigor)

"Treatment should be made available in order to ensure that access to health services is free of discrimination" (stevanovicigor)

A hospital in Australia has denied that it refused to give a man who had been raped emergency HIV treatment.

The man, who was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital, alleges that man he was not give PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) when he came into the hospital after the attack in November.

After staying in the hospital for four days, the man said that he requested the HIV prevention treatment numerous times during his stay, and was not given a clear answer as to why they would not give him the treatment.

“They wouldn’t let me out of hospital, so I couldn’t go and seek PEP from another hospital,” the man told Star Observer.

The man said one doctor he dealt with was uninformed about HIV and gay issues, to the point that he “had to explain gay sex” to him.

He described the experience as “a nightmare”.

Man holding a pill used for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection
Man holding a pill used for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection

“They wouldn’t give me a clear answer on whether they were going to give (PEP) to me. They took bloods and said another department was going to make the decision.”

In order for the medication to be effective, it needs to be taken within a 72-hour timeframe.

And for the man in question, the treatment was given the go-ahead after that period had passed.

Patient privacy prevents us giving specifics relating to an individual’s care. This patient was assessed and given clinically appropriate care and treatment based on the information provided,” a Royal Melbourne Hospital spokesperson said to Gay Star News.

“Prescribing of PEP will depend on the circumstances of the patient’s arrival to hospital.The Emergency Department’s medical staff will always consult with a doctor from VIDS to determine if PEP is medically appropriate, based on the information provided by the patient,” the spokesperson added.

Images: Getty

 

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