Doctors at a government hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh district, about 175 km from here, have refused to operate on HIV-positive patients, leaving many of them in the lurch.
According to sources, as many as seven patients, who had approached the doctors at the district hospital for different kinds of surgeries, including gall bladder stones, uterus, hernia and others, were refused to be operated upon as they were HIV-positive.
"I have nowhere to go now...I can not afford treatment at a private hospital...but the doctors at the district hospital refused to perform surgery," said an HIV-positive patient, who had gall bladder stones.
An office-bearer of Pratapgarh Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS Society (PNP) said the doctors in the district hospital did not want to treat or operate on such patients.
"They (doctors) would not touch them (HIV/AIDS patients) even with a 10 feet pole...such patients face discrimination...it is really shameful," said PNP Project Director Vindo Yadav while speaking to DH from Pratapgarh on Friday.
Yadav said his organisation had been waging a battle to end this discrimination but had not yet completely succeeded. "We had in the past embarked on a demonstration to protest discrimination...a few surgeries on some HIV/AIDS patients were also performed but after that things have returned to square one," he remarked.
"Doctors refuse to treat HIV-positive patients...who will perform your operation...they ask the patients and shoo them away," he added.
Yadav said there were over 2,500 HIV/AIDS patients in the district and around a dozen of them require surgeries of different types.
He said he would take up the matter with senior government officials.