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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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Odisha Government launches Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana to nurture HIV positive orphan kids

The Odisha Government launched the Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana, a scheme to nurture the orphan and HIV-infected children residing in different child care institutions and orphanages. 

The main aim of the scheme is to facilitate care and protection towards orphans and HIV infected children of the state. It will act and supplement for providing additional resources and complementary modalities to the existing centrally sponsored schemes. 

Under this scheme
  • Financial support will be given to promote the primary, higher education and for the securing of the future and rehabilitation of HIV-infected children.
  • State government will bear the educational expense of these children and provide them scholarship for higher education among other benefits.
  • The scholarship will be provider to top three meritorious students of the each district of the state and each student who passes the HSC examination will get Rs. 20000.
  • State government will deposit Rs. 1000 in the Sukayana Samridhi accounts of the girl children till they attain the age of 18 years.

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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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