The parliament passed the historic Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017 on 11th April. The bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on 21st March, 2017 and prohibits discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIVs) on grounds of treatment, employment and workplace. It provides for complete confidentiality, helps in safeguarding patients’ rights, and also creates a proper grievance addressing mechanism.
Highlights of the Bill
It prohibits any kind of discrimination against affected people in terms of employment, admission to educational institutes, renting property, insurance (unless based on actuarial studies) and standing for public or private offices.
This bill aims to provide the affected people with proper treatment and access to good health.
The bill prohibits anyone to publish information or promote hatred against those who are HIV positive.
Any HIV test, medical treatment or research would be conducted only after the person’s informed consent. The HIV status would be kept completely confidential, if required, by court’s order.
The bill also states that priority should be given to cases related to HIV positive persons, at the same time maintaining complete confidentiality.
An ombudsman will be appointed in every state to enquire about complaints regarding violations of the act.
People affected with HIV are entitled to access public facilities such as shops, restaurants, hotel, public entertainment venues, public facilities and burial ground, without any sort of discrimination.
All the HIV affected people to have right to prevention, testing, treatment and counselling services. Therapies such the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) and infection management to be provided. The State and the Central Government will also provide welfare schemes especially for women and children.