In what can be considered a major step towards ensuring the security of human rights of those suffering from AIDS and HIV, the parliament has passed the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on March 21.
The bill will effectively empower HIV and AIDS patients by giving them legal sanctity. The bill prohibits any kind of discrimination against such people on ground of treatment, employment and workplace. The bil also paves way for providing for better prevention and control of HIV & AIDS.
“The government will provide free treatment to the people infected with HIV. The ministry will soon come out with a new test and treat policy for the people living with HIV for providing free treatment to them,” said Health Minister J. P. Nadda while also stating that the bill is a patient-centric and progressive in nature.
Nadda said the government has spent Rs 2000 crore on Anti Retroviral Therapy drugs for such patients last year, while 22,000 testing facilities for HIV and AIDS are functional in the country.
He also appreciated the Indian pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing affordable drugs for the treatment of the disease.