#GoodNews: New Law To End Denial, Loss of Jobs to HIV+ People

Those found propagating hatred against people suffering from such diseases will be punished with imprisonment.

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The new law provisions to safeguard the property and rights of HIV positive people. (Photo: iStock)

People won't be denied or terminated from jobs if they suffer from HIV/AIDS, as per a new law.

Besides, those found propagating hatred against people suffering from such diseases will be punished with imprisonment of not less than three months, and which can be extended up to two years, with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

President Pranab Mukherjee has recently given nod to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017, officials said on Tuesday.

A bill in this regard was passed in Lok Sabha on 11 April. The Rajya Sabha had passed the bill on 21 March. The new law provisions to safeguard the property and rights of HIV positive people. Those found disclosing HIV positive status of a person shall be punishable with a maximum fine of Rs 1 lakh.

The Act prohibits any form of discrimination against persons suffering from HIV or AIDS in employment, educational institutions, and in providing health care services.

Such people shall not be discriminated against while residing or renting property, standing for public or private office, and for provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies). The actuarial studies apply mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance.

Every protected person (HIV positive) shall have the right to reside in the shared household, the right not to be excluded from the shared household or any part of it, and the right to enjoy and use the facilities of such shared household in a non-discriminatory manner.
Provisions of the new law

The Act provides that no HIV test, medical treatment or research will be conducted on a person without his informed consent.

"No person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status except by an order of the court that the disclosure of such information is necessary in the interest of justice for the determination of issues in the matter before it," it said.

The Act mandates central and state governments to take all measures – including diagnostic facilities relating to HIV or AIDS – as it deems necessary and expedient for the prevention of such diseases.

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