14 May 2012

Care plan agreed for boy with HIV

7:22 pm on 14 May 2012

The family of a Whangarei pre-schooler with HIV has met the principal of the school where he is about to be enrolled - and agreed on a care plan for him.

The four-year-old was sent home from the Mokopuna Centre at Whau Valley Primary School last week after staff learned of his diagnosis and asked for a care plan.

The Aids Foundation said no care plan was needed because the boy is not infectious.

The Ministry of Education says families of children with HIV are not required to disclose the diagnosis to schools because there is no risk to other children.

But it says it is in the interest of the child for someone at the school to know their status.

Whau Valley school principal Robert Clarke says he wanted a plan in place before the boy starts school and this was agreed this Monday morning with the boy's whanau and Ministry officials,

Pre-school prepares to sue

The pre-school at the centre of the row is preparing to sue the AIDS Foundation for defamation.

The foundation accused the Mokopuna Centre of prejudice and discrimination when it sent the boy home.

The centre says the boy's mother did not disclose his condition on enrolment and when she did tell staff, they asked her to keep the boy home for a few days so a care plan could be worked out for him.

Chief executive of the trust that runs the pre-school, Raewyn Tipene, says the AIDS Foundation's statements have damaged the centre's reputation and demonised parents.

She says the trust is talking to its lawyers about legal action against the foundation.