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New Report: Surviving on Scraps

*Physicians for Human Rights – Israel Press Release*

New Report: Surviving on Scraps

In honor of International AIDS Day, observed on December 1 every year, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel is publishing a new report describing the severe conditions of people living with HIV/AIDS with no civil status and receiving no medical care.

There are approximately 80 refugees and undocumented migrant workers living in Israel with HIV/AIDS. The State of Israel chooses to ignore those who are infected or are ill with AIDS, and divests itself of all responsibility for their health.

The majority of people ill with HIV/AIDS need to receive monetary donations in order to afford treatment. About 20 individuals, among them refugees and asylum-seekers who are living legally in Israel, receive no treatment at all and are in a constantly deteriorating state of ill health. Lacking any solution or initiative on the part of the State, PHR-Israel treats these people living with HIV/AIDS within the framework of the Open Clinic in south Tel Aviv.

PHR-Israel is petitioning the Supreme Court on behalf of five patients who are threatened with deportation back to their countries of origin where there is no treatment available for AIDS. Deportation back to a country where no treatment for HIV infections exists is akin to a death sentence for these five.

PHR-Israel’s new report describes incidents of undocumented migrant workers who are already ill with HIV related diseases and makes the following recommendations:

• The State of Israel should take responsibility for supplying medical care to those undocumented immigrants who come from countries where treatment for HIV/AIDS is not available.

• The Minister of Health, should apply the National Health Law, or provide a comparable list of health services to the population of refugees and asylum-seekers living inside its borders.

• The Ministries of Health and of the Interior should compose and publish procedures for defining the criteria for granting permits to stay in Israel and permits to work for people living with HIV/AIDS.

• These recommendations are based on considerations of human rights, the non refoulement principle, the right to life, the right to live with dignity, and on humanitarian and moral considerations.

Ends

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