During my time volunteering as a Paralegal at HALC, one of the many cases I worked on was a Medical Treatment Visa for Maisie*, a HIV positive woman from the Philippines.
Maisie’s partner, Matthew, an Australian citizen, contacted HALC, concerned about Maisie giving birth in the Philippines in a few months time. He knew that medical facilities and services in the Philippines are nowhere near Australia’s standard. He was worried for Maisie and his unborn baby’s health as Maisie did not have access to an HIV doctor or HIV treatment, which I came to learn is crucial during pregnancy to reduce the risk of mother-to-baby HIV transmission.
So that Maisie could come to Australia to give birth, we needed to act quickly, given that Maisie was fast approaching her due date, and would soon be unable to fly due to airline restrictions on pregnant women flying during their third trimester.
I was involved in completing a Medical Treatment Visa so that Maisie could come to Australia to give birth. This involved drafting supporting submissions and liaising with the specialist doctors who would be responsible for Maisie’s and her baby’s care and treatment in Australia (prior to, during and post birth).
Maisie’s Medical Treatment Visa was granted in time for her to fly and she gave birth in Australia in late 2014 to Melissa, a healthy, HIV negative baby girl. Without the assistance of HALC, Maisie’s and Matthew’s baby would have been born in the Philippines without specialist HIV care, and as Masie didn’t have access to HIV medication there is a 30% chance their Australian baby would have been born with HIV. Without financial contributions from people like you and me HALC will not have the capacity to continue providing assistance to people like Maisie, Mathew and baby Melissa.
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