Government must provide ARVs to foreign prisoners - High Court

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High Court this morning ordered the government to provide anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to HIV-positive, foreign prisoners at state expense. The court held that the denial of ARV treatment to foreign prisoners violated their constitutional rights.

“This court decision has affirmed that the government is legally obligated to immediately provide life-saving ARV treatment to foreign prisoners living with HIV. The court further affirmed that providing ARV treatment to all prisoners who need it is critical to effectively addressing HIV,” says Cindy Kelemi of the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA), one of the applicants in the case.

In reaching its decision, the court highlighted the importance of ensuring that all prisoners have access to ARV treatment, not only for their own health, but also to protect other prisoners from acquiring HIV and other opportunistic infections, such as tuberculosis.

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