The Union Cabinet has given approval for carrying out amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Bill seeks to usher in greater legal accountability and formal mechanism in the legislative framework that enables redressing and preventing discrimination against persons affected by HIV-AIDS. The state machinery has been made accountable to safeguard their rights and create adequate mechanism for complaint redressal. Along with measures to prevent and control spread of HIV-AIDS, the bill provides several measures to ensure health care services with informed consent and confidentiality for HIV-related testing, treatment and clinical research.
• It seeks to address the disease-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.
• It seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with the disease.
• It seeks to provide for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment, places obligations on establishments to safeguard rights of persons living with the disease.
• It aims to enhance access to health care services by ensuring informed consent and confidentiality for HIV-related testing, treatment and clinical research.
• It lists various grounds on which discrimination against the disease positive persons and those living with them is prohibited. These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to employment, educational establishments, health care services, provision of insurance, etc.
• It prohibits any individual from publishing information or advocating feelings of hatred against the disease positive persons and those living with them.
• It provides for Guardianship for minors.
• It requires that No person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order.
• It also asks Central and State governments to take measures to prevent the spread of HIV or AIDS, provide anti-retroviral therapy, facilitate their access to welfare schemes, lay guidelines for the care and treatment of children with HIV or AIDS.
• It makes provision for appointment of an ombudsman by State Governments to inquire into complaints related to the violation of the Act and penal actions in case of non-compliance.