According to the Bill, "No person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order".

Union Cabinet clears Bill prohibiting discrimination against persons with HIVAIDSPTI
news Wednesday, October 05, 2016 - 14:59

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Bill, seeking to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, includes provisions that prohibit discrimination of persons with HIV and AIDS.

“The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS, provides for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment, places obligations on establishments to safeguard rights of persons living with HIV and create mechanisms for redressing complaints. The Bill also aims to enhance access to health care services by ensuring informed consent and confidentiality for HIV-related testing, treatment and clinical research,” the government said in a statement.

The various grounds mentioned in the Bill, on which discrimination against people with HIV and those living with them is prohibited include:

“the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to:

(i) employment,

(ii) educational establishments,

(iii) health care services,

(iv) residing or renting property,

(v) standing for public or private office, and

(vi) provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies). The requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited.”

According to the Bill, "No person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order". And organisations that keep records of HIV positive persons shall maintain measures to protect the data.  

The Bill also mentions the measures to be taken by Central and State governments in connection with providing anti-retroviral therapy to persons with HIV/AIDS, welfare schemes for women and children, and HIV or AIDS education communication programmes.

An estimated 21 lakh HIV positive people live in India. Even though the number of cases have decreased over the years, the amendment will help India in achieving the target of "Ending the epidemic by 2030" according to Sustainable Development Goals.

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