Ivory Lin is the secretary general of Taipei-based Persons with HIV/AIDS Rights Advocacy Association of Taiwan (PRAA).
Lin told The New Lens that some dentists and doctors in Taiwan are reluctant to treat people with HIV as misconceptions surrounding the disease still run deep in Taiwanese society.
People with HIV often experience oral health problems related to the disease. Lin notes a dental clinic in Taipei’s Ximending area, which runs a session for HIV patients, can only find one dentist willing to cover the shift each week.
While it is understood to be illegal for doctors or dentists to refuse to see patients with HIV, Lin says people are not willing to the take the matter through what would likely be a difficult and costly legal process.
PRAA assesses the HIV treatment systems at hospitals across Taiwan, and helps people with HIV and AIDS through legal issues – among a range of other patient support, prevention and advocacy work.
Lin believes fears in the medical community relating to HIV, in part, stem from the 2011 case at National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei – organs from an HIV carrier were mistakenly transplanted into five recipients. [FULL STORY]