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Rajya Sabha passes HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014

The Rajya Sabha has passed HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014. The Bill seeks to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV.

It aims to prevent social stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIV). It also seeks to strengthen legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances to probe discrimination complaints against those who discriminate against PLHIV.

Salient Features of Bill
  • Prevention and control the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS.
  • No person will be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order Establishments keeping records of information of PLHIV must adopt data protection measures.
  • Obligations on establishments to safeguard rights of persons living with HIV arid create mechanisms for redressing complaints.
  • Lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV-positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.
  • These include the denial, discontinuation, termination or unfair treatment with regard to employment, educational establishments, health care services, renting property etc.
  • Prohibits, requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education.
  • Prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and PLHIV.
Background

There are approximately 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India, the third highest number after South Africa and Nigeria. Currently, HIV is more prevalent in high-risk groups like female sex workers, homosexuals and drug addicts. The prevalence of HIV is decreasing over the last decade but percentage of PLHIV receiving Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART) treatment are merely 28.82% against global percentage of 41%.

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Cabinet approves amendments to HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014.

The Bill seeks to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. It seeks to prevent social stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIV).

It also seeks to strengthen legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances to probe discrimination complaints against those who discriminate against PLHIV.

Key Features of Bill

  • Prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS. It prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS.
  • No person will be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order
  • Establishments keeping records of information of PLHIV must adopt data protection measures.
  • Obligations on establishments to safeguard rights of persons living with HIV arid create mechanisms for redressing complaints.
  • Lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV-positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.
  • These include the denial, discontinuation, termination or unfair treatment with regard to employment, educational establishments, health care services, renting property etc.
  • Prohibits, requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education.
  • Prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and PLHIV.

Background

There are approximately 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India.  The prevalence of HIV is decreasing over the last decade but percentage of PLHIV receiving Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART) treatment are merely 28.82% against global percentage of 41%.

Comment

The Bill would provide essential support to National AIDS Control Programme in arresting new spread of HIV infections and thereby achieving the target of “Ending the epidemic by 2030” to meet goal Sustainable Development Goals.

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Project Sunrise launched for prevention of AIDS in NE states

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda has launched Project Sunrise on for prevention of AIDS specially among people injecting drugs in the 8 North-Eastern states.

The AIDS prevention special project aims to diagnose 90 per cent of such drug addicts with HIV and put them under treatment by 2020.

Key facts

  • Project Sunrise aims at bringing the people living with HIV/AIDS into the national mainstream and create more awareness about the disease in these N-E states..
  • It will be implemented in the North East in addition to the existing projects of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO).
  • The project has been sponsored by US based Centre for Disease Control and would be implemented by Family Health International 360.
  • It will cover one lakh people living with HIV/AIDS by giving them treatment and care facilities free of cost.
  • Other initiatives to be covered it include enhancing capacity of state-level institutions in high burden areas, community mobilization, intervention among females injecting drugs.

Background

North Eastern States like Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram account for highest adult (15-49 years) HIV prevalence in the country. National average for prevalence of HIV/AIDS among drug addicts is 7.14%, whereas in Manipur it is 12.9% and in Mizoram it is 12%.

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