Madhya Pradesh: PIL Filed for HIV Patient during COVID - 19
Shivdayal Vs. State of M.P., W.P. (PIL) No. 7615/2020 | High Court of Jabalpur | Status: Disposed Off | |
A. Petitioner has filed the instant petition praying for appropriate direction to the respondents to exercise their powers under various legal provisions and take immediate measures in the interest of the People Living with HIV (hereinafter referred to as PLHIV) who are being drastically affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
B. This is in reference to the current outbreak of COVID 19 which has affected lakhs of people in various ways and claimed around 3000 lives so far. This PIL is specifically with regard to the dire situation of PLHIV in the light of Covid-19 & Lockdown, calling for immediate intervention, with monetary and material support by the state government /respondents.The Indian government provides ART to all PLHIV registered in government hospitals, most of whom are overwhelmingly poor and rely on public transport which has been non-operational due to the on-going lockdown to prevent the spread of corona virus
C. Petitioner would like to draw the kind attention of this Hon’ble Court towards the backward condition of Madhya Pradesh as compared to other states in terms of medical infrastructure towards PLHIV. As per the NACO report of 2017, Madhya Pradesh is home to 44,427 PLHIV and 3,593 CLHIV
D. That, in the case of HIV, patients largely depend on monthly antiretroviral drugs available at government centres in each district. Since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, activists and non-profit organisations in the field have been busy addressing calls from distressed PLHIV who have been unable to get their medication because without transport, many people cannot reach them.
E. That, many PLHIV are also afraid of the police stopping them if they go out to get their medicines. This fear is based on the many reports of police brutality towards people stepping out of their homes, even if they were out to buy essential items. The district treatment centres are often 30 or 40 kms far from their villages, and to get a travel pass to go there during the lockdown, people would have to disclose to their local police that they are PLHIV
F. volunteer organisations can only help a limited number of PLHIV, and there are many others who slip through the cracks as thousands of cases are not being reported to such organizations. Another major problem with accessing HIV medication is the social stigma surrounding the disease. This has deterred many rural PLHIV and their caregivers from venturing out to an antiretroviral treatment centre for CLHIV (Children living with HIV). Madhya Pradesh falls among states with the lowest female per 1000 male PLHIV on ART ratio of less than 800. Madhya Pradesh has only 18 Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) Centers spread across 52 districts while the ratio in other states like Maharashtra (87 ART Centers for 36 Districts) and Andhra Pradesh (40 ART centers for 13 Districts) depict the poor state of Medical Infrastructure for PLHIV in Madhya Pradesh.
G. That, volunteer organisations can only help a limited number of PLHIV, and there are many others who slip through the cracks thousands of cases are not being reported to such organizations. Another major problem with accessing HIV medication is the stigma surrounding the disease. This has deterred many rural PLHIV and their caregivers from venturing out to an antiretroviral treatment centre