27 Feb 2015

Boy with HIV made ward of court

8:17 pm on 27 February 2015

A nine-year-old boy with HIV has been made a ward of the court after his father refused to give him medication.

In January, a district health board took the case to the High Court in Auckland, seeking guardianship of the boy so it can treat him for the virus.

The High Court heard from doctors the boy needs medication now before he suffers serious or fatal illness.

The boy's father refuses to acknowledge there is a disease called HIV, and disputes his son's diagnosis.

His lawyer, Moira Macnab, said her client would now allow his son to be treated.

"A lot of cooperation is required by my client, he has to take him to things like clinics and blood tests and observe what's happening and report so he's not a flight risk, the child is a New Zealand citizen. If he was going to abscond he would have done that a long time ago."

The court has now assumed responsibility for the boy's medical care, but he will continue to live with his father.

The child, who was diagnosed with HIV four months after birth, does not know about his disease. Doctors plan to tell him within the next 18 months.

The order lasts until the boy turns 16, when he is then able to make his own decision about treatment.