General News

Home Office failed to provide HIV medication to asylum seeker

Rachel Badham August 2, 2021

The UK Home Office has come under fire after breaching the European Convention of Human Rights by not providing an asylum seeker with vital HIV medication. According to i News, the 28-year-old man, known by the media as CMS, was seeking asylum in the UK after being deported to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2017 despite having lived in England since 1996. 

In 2019, he was placed in the Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, where he had to go three days without antiretroviral medication that was required to prevent his t-cell count from falling. After investigating the incident, the High Court of Justice ruled on July 30 that the Home Office breached article three of the European Convention of Human Rights, which protects all peole against “inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Mr Justice Bourne ruled that the Home Office failed to have “a sufficient system” in place to meet the needs of HIV-positive asylum seekers, adding: “Healthcare staff in the present case did not apply their training and there is no sign of any relevant training being provided to immigration officers.” He also noted that the British HIV Association published guidance for the Home Office to help prevent similar incidents from occurring again.