HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control Bill Passed In Lok Sabha

After a long wait, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017 has finally passed in the Parliament on 11th April 2017, Tuesday. The bill is specifically introduced to aid and support the rights of the people who are suffering from HIV or AIDS in India. As India is listed with the third highest HIV epidemic in the world, the bill is expected to help the country to fight off the deadly syndrome and its virus. The bill has promised several points for supporting AIDS/HIV control and prevention programs and here are top 7 of them which is must-know for every Indian.

The new bill has prohibited favouritism against people suffering from or affected by, HIV or AIDS regarding medical treatment, employment, admission in educational institutions, renting the property as well as owning public or private office, facilities of general insurance and the liberty to relocate. With Lok Sabha passing the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017, on Tuesday, people who have HIV and AIDS are guaranteed identical rights in admission to education institutes, medical treatment, and jobs.

The new guideline also has strictly forbidden inequitable treatment served to people living with and affected by AIDS/HIV when it comes to using the public facilities like public shops, eateries and restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues, public premises, and burial grounds. People with AIDS/HIV, from now will have the equal right to the general public to access public facilities. And those who don’t obey the instructions of the amendment will be penalised.

The new bill also ensures that equal rights to the people affected by HIV and AIDS in getting access to treatment as well as good health care, like an everyday people gets. Dubbing the new amendment as patient-centric and forward-looking in nature, JP Nadda, the Health Minister of India said that the Indian government would introduce new test and treatment policies for the people suffering from and affected by HIV for delivering cost-free treatment.

The new guideline also has instructed safeguarding of the property rights of people, living with AIDS/HIV. It means each and every HIV infected or affected person, ageing below 18 years has the right to inhabit in a shared family and enjoy all the facilities of the household that common family members do.

The Bill also has banned individuals from publicising information or promoting abhorrence feelings against those, living with AIDS/HIV and even those who are residing with such affected people. Those who will not adhere to the rules will be strictly punished.

Moreover, the bill has stringently instructed that no medical treatments, HIV test, or experiments can be conducted on a person without informing him/her and no person will be obligated to reveal the HIV status without the permission of the patient and if needed, by order of court. It indicates that all cases related to AIDS or HIV-positive persons will be given precedence and the complete confidentiality of all matters will be maintained.

Every individual, living in the guardianship and care of the State has the right to HIV testing, prevention, treatment and counselling facilities and services. The State and Central government are also bound to facilitate individuals living or affected by HIV/AIDS access to government-endorsed welfare policies, especially for women and children.

Apart from these seven major points, the new amendment bill also has mentioned about several more grounds on which any type of unfairness against people, living with HIV and AIDS is proscribed and the rights that they can benefit from. Anyone who does not abide by these rules and guidelines will be penalised. Offenders of the rules may have to face civil and criminal proceedings, instructed the bill.

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