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Indian hospitals
to investigate why doctors turned away boy with HIV

Indian hospitals
to investigate why doctors turned away boy with HIV

Two government hospitals in Calcutta that refused to treat an HIV-positive boy for more than a year said Tuesday they would investigate why he was turned away, and a government agency also said it would look into the case.

The boy, 7-year-old Maniur Rehman, was admitted to another hospital, the city's School of Tropical Medicine, on Saturday after his case was taken up by People for Better Treatment, a Calcutta group that promotes the rights of people suffering from HIV.

He is believed to have been infected with HIV through a blood transfusion he was given about two years ago to help treat a genetic disorder known as thalassemia.

Prejudice against people with HIV runs deep in India, even among doctors. The boy's father, Sheikh Idris Ali, said physicians at Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital and Calcutta Medical College and Hospital refused to treat his son for thalassemia for more than a year after learning he had become HIV-positive.

The chiefs of the two government hospitals promised to investigate why the boy was turned away.

But Ashok Ghosh of Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital noted that operating rooms at the hospital are booked far in advance, and said that may be why the boy wasn't treated.

The West Bengal State AIDS Prevention and Control Society said it also planned to investigate.

''If what is being alleged has happened, then it is unfortunate. We will take up the case and take necessary action,'' said Dipendra Narayan Goswami, a program officer at the government agency. Calcutta is located in West Bengal state. (AP)

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