Having Adopted an HIV-Positive Child by Accident a Family from Iskitim, Novosibirsk Region, is Forced to Leave the City

News22 April 2019

The six-year-old boy is refused admission to school and physical therapy while his parents has become targets of bullying after the information about their son’s HIV-positive status became known by third persons.

The local news website reports that before adoption the boy lived in the orphanage in Toguchin, Novosibirsk Region. He was sent there after his biological parents had died of tuberculosis. And in 2018 the child was adopted.

A family from Iskitim took custody of the boy. While filling out the papers the couple specified that they were not ready to adopt a mentally handicapped or HIV-positive child.

The mother became aware of her son’s HIV-positive status by accident. A friend of hers told her about that having received this information earlier from the district hospital staff.

According to the journalists, after the boy that had never received antiretroviral treatment was hospitalized with a fungal infection (aspergillosis) related to full-blown immunodeficiency, for a while the parents were hesitant to take the boy back home from the hospital. But as soon as the child started to recover and the couple was provided with relevant information about the disease and antiretroviral treatment, they decided to take him back.

However after the incident the family encountered another bunch of problems – because of the diagnosis first, the boy was refused admission to school and then physical therapy while the pediatrician openly urged the parents to send him back to the orphanage.

In addition to that some of the friends turned their back on the family and other parents felt it necessary to spread the information about the boy’s HIV-positive status as widely as possible.

Given that Iskitim is rather a small city with only about 50,000 population, the family affected by bullying now is going to leave it and move to the regional center – Novosibirsk, the news website reports.

The Novosibirsk Region Ministry of Labor and Social Development failed to explain to the journalists why the child admitted to the orphanage had not been tested for HIV, his adoptive parents had not been informed about his status and third persons had gained access to the information about his diagnosis.

The website also points out that the Ministry stated that the case was being investigated and if culprits were identified, they would be subjected to disciplinary measures.

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