Cabinet approves amendment to HIV/AIDS bill

New Delhi, Oct 5: A draft law which seeks to protect the interests of persons with HIV and AIDS got more teeth today with government approving amendments to bring in legal accountability and establish a formal mechanism to probe complaints against those who discriminate against such people.

The Union Cabinet approved amendments to 'The HIV and AIDS Bill, 2014' drafted to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV.

The bill lists various grounds on which discrimination against HIV 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, residing or renting property, standing for public or private office, and provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies).

The requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited, a statement issued after the Cabinet meet said.

The Bill requires that "no person shall be compelled to disclose his HIV status except with his informed consent, and if required by a court order".