HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 is up for discussion and passing in Lok Sabha today. Here are the key points you need to know about the AIDS Prevention Bill and its provisions:
1. It aims to end the epidemic by 2030 in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. There are approximately 21 lakh persons living with HIV in India.
2. The Bill has been drafted to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. The provisions of the Bill seek to address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.
3. A person living with AIDS cannot be treated unfairly at employment, educational establishments, renting a property, standing for public or private office or providing healthcare and insurance services.
4. The Bill also aims to enhance access to healthcare services by ensuring informed consent and confidentiality for HIV-related testing, treatment and clinical research.
5. Every HIV infected or affected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy the facilities of the household.
6. The Bill also prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and those living with them.
7. No person shall be compelled to disclose his/her HIV status except with their informed consent, and if required by a court order.
8. The State and Central government should ensure prevention of the spread of HIV and AIDS, provide anti-retroviral therapy, and facilitate access to welfare schemes especially for women and children.
9. Every person in the care and custody of the State shall have right to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and counseling services.
10. The Bill suggest that cases relating to HIV positive persons shall be disposed’ off by the court on a priority basis and duly ensuring the confidentiality.