April 12 has been the important day for HIV-positive people because this is the day when the Parliament passed the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, Which provides the prevention and control for the disease and protection of human rights of people who are infected with HIV/AIDS. It is about their equal rights in the society without any discrimination.
People affected by the HIV and AIDS should get the equal right to treatment and equal rights for the admission in the educational institutions and jobs. This decision was taken in favour of people affected by this disease Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and control) Bill, 2017 in the Lok Sabha as Historic. Health Minister J P Nadda said that the Indian Government would always support such patients and the treatment would be free of HIV patients. As this bill was passed by Rajya Sabha.
Here are some important highlights of the HIV and AIDS bill passed in the Lok Sabha, which you need to know:
- As per the HIV/AIDS bill passed by the Lok Sabha, there would be no discrimination against the HIV-infected person on the grounds of treatment, workplace and employment. Also, whosoever would discriminate against such infected people would be penalised.
- According to the bill, the equal rights would be given to the people affected by the HIV/AIDS in getting treatment at the HIV/AIDS centres and equal rights for the admissions in educational institutions and at the jobs.
- There is also a provision of protection of the property rights of the HIV-positive people under this act, which means that if the HIV-positive person is under the age of 18 years, he/she would have the right to reside in the shared household. He/she has the full right to enjoy the facilities of the household which will be provided to him/her without any discrimination.
- Health Minister J P Nadda said that the government is working on the progress route of HIV-positive patients, as soon the new tests and treatment policy would be introduced under which HIV positive people would get the entire treatment for free.
- For the research and any other treatment process for the HIV test and medical treatments for HIV-positive people, doctors would have to take their permission in order to conduct any research on them. Without the consent of the patient, no research or the medical treatment can be done on the HIV-positive patients.
- There is also a provision under which nobody can compel any HIV-positive people to disclose their HIV status without their own wish and if it is required then can be done by court orders only.
As per the statistical data collected at the end of the year 2015 2.1 million people living with HIV in India. However, health minister J P Nadda said that the new rate of patients infected with HIV have dropped by 67% that is from 2.5 lakh it has dropped to 85,000 people. Not only this but AIDS-related deaths have also decreased to 54%, which is more than a global average.
India runs the second largest Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) programme in the world. Health Minister J P Nadda also said that the Indian government spent almost Rs. 2,000 crore on this Antiretroviral Therapy Programme alone for HIV-positive patients last year. He added that there are 22,000 HIV testing centre are in the country, which conducted around 2.9 crores HIV tests which include 1.3 crore, pregnant women in the nation.