The Aids Foundation is welcoming a decision to make a nine-year-old boy with HIV a ward of the court, after his father refused to give him medication.
A district health board took the case to the High Court last month, seeking guardianship of the boy so it can treat him for the virus, which his father refuses to acknowledge exists.
The court has assumed responsibility for the boy's medical care until he turns 16, but he will continue to live with his father.
The foundation's executive director Shaun Robinson said the court has done the right thing but the situation is tragic.
"I do put myself in the, you know, in the shoes of the father and think you know, it must be very difficult for him.
"And I think, you know, he is trying to do the best for his son. I think he is wrong in the conclusions he has drawn."
Mr Robinson said he hoped the boy and his family are given counselling and any other social support they need.
Associate professor of infectious diseases at Auckland University Mark Thomas said the court's action was potentially life-saving.
"Without that decision and certainty that the boy would receive treatment, he would run the risk of developing aids illnesses that potentially might kill him in the coming months to years."
Mr Thomas said allowing the boy to keep living with his father was the right thing to do.