A crucial legislation for ensuring equal rights to persons affected by HIV and AIDS in getting treatment, admission in educational institutions and jobs has come into force.The Ministry of Health has announced implementation of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Act through a gazette notification issued on Monday.
1.Every HIV infected or affected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy the facilities of the household.
2. Violation of the act by publishing information about people living with HIV (PLHIV) or advocating hatred against them would attract imprisonment ranging from three months to two years or a maximum fine of Rs one lakh or both.
3. Union and state governments shall take measures to prevent the spread of HIV or AIDS, provide anti-retroviral therapy and infection management for persons with HIV or AIDS, facilitate their access to welfare schemes especially for women and children, among others.
4. Government will issue necessary guidelines with respect to protocols for HIV and AIDS related diagnostic facilities. Anti-retroviral therapy and opportunistic infection management will also be applicable to all persons.
5. The act prohibits discrimination against HIV/AIDS in accessing healthcare, getting jobs, renting accommodation, and in admission to public and private educational institutions.
6. No HIV test, medical treatment or research will be conducted on a person without his informed consent and no person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status for obtaining employment or services, except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order.-Inputs from Agency