The upper house of Indian Parliament, Rajya Sabha passed the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 by voice vote on 21 March 2017.
The bill, which includes provisions that ensure equal rights to people afflicted by HIV and AIDS in getting treatment and admission in educational institutions and jobs, was introduced in the house on the same day.
• The bill was introduced in the house by the Union Health Minister, J P Nadda. It was originally introduced by the UPA government in February 2014 after consultations with people in 29 ministries and 21 departments.
• Explaining the provisions of the bill, Nadda stated that it will give legislative backing to the people living with HIV and prohibit the feeling of hatred.
• It will ensure that every HIV infected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy its facilities.
• It also prohibits discrimination against HIV positive persons on grounds like denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to employment, educational establishments, health care services and residing or renting property.
• Further, replying to concerns of some members of the house including Congress leader Jairam Ramesh regarding clause 14 of the bill that says ‘as far as possible’ for providing treatment to those having HIV/AIDS by the Centre and the State, the health minister stated that the bill will ensure that nobody is denied treatment.
While the bill received overwhelming support in the house, members emphasized on the need to provide higher budgetary allocation for National AIDS Control Organization and blood banks and the need to include sex education in school as a part of the syllabus in order make students more aware and cautious.