Indian Parliament Passes HIV And AIDS Bill
The Indian Parliament on Tuesday passed a vital HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, guaranteeing equal rights while seeking treatment, education, and job by people living with HIV. Every HIV-positive person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy the its facilities.
The Bill also assumes significance as it protects people living with HIV from specific acts of discrimination by the state, or any other person. It also lays down penal terms for any discrimination practiced against a person with HIV/AIDS and breach of confidentiality.
Under the new law, central and state governments are obliged to provide for anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and management of opportunistic infections.
The protection mandated under the law extends to the fields of employment, healthcare services, educational services, public facilities, property rights, holding public office, and insurance.
The total number of people living with HIV in India is estimated at 2.1 million, whereas around 86 000 new HIV infections were reported in 2015, showing 66% decline in new infections from 2000. In 2015 around 68000 people died of AIDS-related causes nationally.