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Q. Amendments to HIV and AIDS Bill: Comment on proposed changes in HIV and AIDS bill.2014 by Union Cabinet recently.
Oct 07, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently union cabinet approved long due amendments to HIV and AIDS bill 2014, to provide stronger protection to the countries HIV community.  The bill aims to prohibit any kind of discrimination against people affected by HIV and AIDS.

Key features-

  • The proposed bill prohibits discrimination against people living with HIV in accessing healthcare, acquiring jobs, renting houses or in education institutions in the public and private sectors.

  • The Bill seeks to prevent stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV. These amendments will allow families that have faced discrimination to go to court against institutions or persons being unfair.

  • The Bill lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV-positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.

  • The list include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to employment, educational establishments, health care services, residing or renting property, standing for public or private office, and provision of insurance.

  • No person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order.

Analysis-

  • There are approximately 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India. And these people are facing various kinds of discrimination in their daily life.

  • Recently approved amendments by Union Cabinet, that make discrimination against people living with the virus punishable, are positive steps towards ensuring justice to people affected by HIV virus.

  • Such laws will deliver benefits within the overall constraints imposed by an under-funded public health system.

  • The proposed changes intended to both stop the spread of the disease and help those who have become infected get antiretroviral therapy as well as equal opportunity.

  • To the large extent the proposed changes provides some relief to thousands of families that face discrimination in admitting children to school, an infected individual getting a job, or treatment in hospital.

Suggestions-

  • The success of the anti-discrimination aspects rests on how effectively government will implement the provisions of the proposed bill. Hence government should effectively implement these provisions.

  • Similarly people affected by HIV should be made aware about the their rights and other aspects of bill.

  • As currently public health system is suffering from lack of funds, hence government should make necessary arrangement of funds.

Conclusion-

Recently approved changes by Union Cabinet are welcome move. The comes at a time when the national HIV programme has weakened due to Budget slashes and patients are facing drug shortages across the country. To large extent it will ensures the any kind of discrimination to the HIV affected people and also it will strengthen the fight against disease.


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