- The Human Immunodeficiency Virus
(HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Prevention and
Control Bill 2017 was passed in the Parliament
- The bill strengthens rights of
patients living with HIV and cracks down on discrimination
- It also bans discrimination of
people living with and affected by HIV with regard to accessing public
(HIV) and Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) victims are guaranteed equal rights to medical treatment, admission to educational institutions and equal
employment opportunities, as the Parliament passed the HIV and AIDS Prevention
and Control Bill 2017 on Tuesday, poised to be a major historical milestone
According to the
UNAIDS Gap Report, nearly 2.1 million people are living with HIV in India. In
2015, there were 68,000 AIDS-related deaths in the country. More than 86,000 new
cases of HIV had been reported. These statistics indicate that HIV and AIDS
Bill is important for those who suffer from the disease and the stigma attached
to it. The Bill not only seeks to prevent the spread and control of HIV, but
also to criminalize discrimination against the HIV community.
‘The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Prevention and Control Bill 2017 aims to prevent and control the disease and also protect the human rights of those afflicted.’
Minister J.P Nadda said that the unanimous passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha
is historic and the government stands committed to the free treatment of HIV
"The Bill is
people-centric as it strengthened the rights of people infected with HIV. It is
not the case that before the coming of this Bill, those infected with HIV were
not empowered. But with the passage of this Bill, they will get more powers,"
Strengthens the Rights
The HIV and AIDS
strengthens the rights of those living with HIV. The Bill makes
the anti-retroviral therapy a legal right for those infected with HIV. According to the Bill, "Every person in the care and custody of the
state shall have right to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and counseling
services." The Bill asks the State and the Central
governments to facilitate access for the HIV/AIDS community to welfare schemes.
In 2016, the government had spent Rs 2, 000 crores on anti-retroviral therapy
drugs for HIV patients, said Nadda.
Cracks Down on
prohibits discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV with
regard to accessing public facilities such as
restaurants, hotels, shops, public entertainment venues and burial grounds.
taboo around the disease, the Bill defines discrimination as denial or
discontinuation of employment, education, healthcare services, and housing.
Every individual is prohibited from publishing information or advocating
feelings of hatred against HIV-positive people and those living with them. The
Bill gives the right to minors with HIV to reside in a shared household and
prohibits people from spreading hatred against them. The Bill states that no
individual will have to undergo HIV test as a pre-requisite for securing a job,
employment or education.
"Whosoever does not adhere to the provisions of the Bill will be penalized.
There would also be civil and criminal proceedings against them. The action
would also be taken against those who come between the implementation of the
provisions of the proposed Bill."
The UNAIDS said
that the landmark legislation is welcoming and it would improve access to
justice for people living with HIV.
Director, UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, said, "This is
a major step forward for people living with and affected by HIV in India and
around the world. This legislation begins to remove barriers and empowers
people to challenge violations of their human rights."
- The Human Immunodeficiency Virus And Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention And Control) Bill, 2014 -