Brownsdale infant off HIV drugs for now

Published 1:40pm Saturday, May 11, 2013

An infant from Brownsdale in the midst of a controversial case regarding his HIV antiretroviral treatment and whether it should be administered will temporarily remain off drugs because he developed a rash.

Lindsey Nagel, 4-month-old Rico Martinez Nagel’s mother, said her family took Rico to the hospital Thursday night because of his condition, which can be a side effect of his treatments.

“It has really been going on for over a week,” Lindsey said Friday night, and added Rico is now doing slightly better.

Rico has since been discharged from the hospital, and he will remain off of his antiretrovirals until Tuesday, when he will be re-evaluated, Lindsey added.

Lindsey and Rico’s father, John Martinez, were ordered Monday to continue medication for Rico with supervision from Mower County Health and Human Services. Rico may remain at home with his parents, though.

John, Lindsey and her parents, Steve and Cheryl Nagel, have fought to keep Rico off of antiretrovirals. Lindsey, who tested HIV positive as an infant when she was adopted from Romania, was on such medications until her parents stopped using them when she was 2. Steve and Cheryl said the drugs were causing severe cramps and killing Lindsey. The entire family has spoken out against such drugs with others, who believe antiretrovirals do more harm than good. Lindsey, now 22, has not taken such medications since she was 2 and says she is healthy.

Lindsey and John’s child in need of protective services case began in January when doctors say they missed two appointments. Doctors say the appointments were mandatory; however, Lindsey and John said they thought the meetings were optional, and they sought a second opinion.

After court hearings, the judge expressed concerns about Steve and Cheryl steering Lindsey’s and John’s decisions about Rico’s medications and whether Lindsey and John would stop treatments without county supervision. Lindsey and John say they have never missed a treatment but would like a court order, so they can take Rico off the antiretrovirals.

Lindsey and John may seek to appeal the judge’s ruling that Rico must stay on antiretrovirals and remain under supervision by the county. Their attorney, Scott Cody, was not immediately available on Friday.