Israel: Health Ministry Agrees to Provide Free Care to Migrants With HIV, AIDS
January 27, 2014
This article was reported by the Jerusalem Post.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel's Ministry of Health would begin paying for HIV treatment for 150 HIV-positive migrant workers at AIDS centers in the nation's public hospitals, even though the migrants were not legal residents and did not pay health taxes. The decision came after a six-year campaign by activist organizations such as Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I).
Until now, HIV-positive migrant workers had to pay for expensive HIV testing and relied on volunteer doctors for treatment and care. However, many of the migrants were unable to obtain protease-inhibitor drugs; therefore, they posed a health threat to the local population. In the last two years, three migrants who received care at a Tel Aviv volunteer clinic died of AIDS, according to PHR-I.
Director General of the Ministry of Health Professor Ronni Gamzu issued a detailed directive to health officials, pharmaceutical companies, and clinics that established the framework for free testing, treatment, and follow-up for foreign HIV/AIDS patients. PHR-I and volunteer doctor and AIDS expert Professor Zvi Bentwich, who had treated Israeli and migrant HIV patients for years, praised the ministry's "intensive activity" to find a solution.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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