Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued notification for bringing Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 in force from 10th September, 2018.
The Act safeguards rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. It also addresses HIV-related discrimination, strengthen existing programme by bringing in legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.
Key Provisions of the Act
The Act seeks to prevent and control spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS. It lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.
These discrimination grounds include denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to (i) employment (ii) educational establishments (iii) health care services, (iv) standing for public or private office, (v) residing or renting property and (vi) provision of insurance.
It also prohibits requirement for HIV testing as pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education. It mentions that every HIV infected or affected person below age of 18 years has right to reside in shared household and enjoy facilities of household.
It also prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against HIV positive persons and those living with them. It gives right to every person in care and custody of the state to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and counseling services.
It mentions that person between 12 to 18 years of age having sufficient maturity in understanding and managing affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family will be competent to act as guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age. This will be applicable in matters relating to admission to educational establishments, operating bank accounts, managing property, care and treatment, amongst others.