HIV law promises equality
Parliament passed the HIV Prevention and Control Bill, 2017.
With the passage of the bill people living with HIV and AIDS will be guaranteed equal rights in medical treatment, admission to educational institutions and jobs.
The Union health minister has termed the unanimous passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha as historic and added that the government is committed to free treatment of HIV patients.
People Centric Legislation:
- The bill strengthened the rights of the people suffering from HIV and AIDS
- The bill lists various grounds, based on which HIV positive person and people living with them are discriminated against and prohibits discrimination based on those grounds.
- Anyone who do not adhere to the provisions of the bill will be penalized and civil and criminal proceedings will be initiated against them
The Bill prohibits discrimination:
- Against people affected with HIV and those living with them, in terms of employment, education, housing and healthcare
- It also prohibits discrimination in terms of holding of public or private office, access to insurance and freedom of movement
- The law also bans unfair treatment of people affected by HIV in accessing public facilities such as shops, restaurants, hotels, burial grounds etc.
- Publishing information that amounts to spreading hatred against HIV positive people is strictly prohibited under the provisions of the bill
What the bill aims to achieve:
- The Bill focuses on confidentiality so patients won’t be forced to reveal their HIV status without consent.
- The bill improves access to justice for people living with HIV
- It removes barriers and empower people to challenge violation of their human rights
- The bill covers the private sector
- The bill will promote research to help prevent spread of the HIV virus, especially in high risk areas
- An outreach program in the bill aims to spread awareness about the provisions of the bill