KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has issued notices to the provincial health secretary and medical superintendent of the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) on a petition filed against non-provision of treatment to HIV positive transgender persons.
A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh also summoned the CHK MS on June 7.
Two transgender rights activists along with three HIV-positive transgender persons petitioned the SHC, stating that the infected petitioners required some immediate medical treatment, but they were denied the same by the CHK due to their HIV status.
Petitioners’ lawyer Sara Malkani argued that they urgently required total hip replacement surgery, treatment for chronic kidney disease and other issues.
The counsel stated that there were numerous HIV-positive transgender persons who were repeatedly denied medical treatments by health facilities across Sindh.
She submitted that the denial of treatment to HIV persons at public hospitals in the province had severely undermined their access to healthcare and such a refusal on part of the respondent hospital was in violation of its constitutional obligations as well as the requirements of the Sindh HIV and AIDS Control, Treatment and Protection Act 2013.
The petitioners sought directives for the CHK to provide immediate necessary treatment to the infected petitioners, other transgender persons and all HIV positive persons on a non-discriminatory basis.
They also asked the court to declare the refusal of the CHK to provide treatment to HIV positive persons was a violation of fundamental rights and other relevant laws and impose fine on the health facility.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2023