New Delhi, 12/9/2018 – UNAIDS welcomes the entry into force of the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act, India’s landmark HIV legislation on Monday 10 September. The law provides a comprehensive legislative framework for the response to AIDS in India as it will create a more supportive environment for people living with and affected by HIV.
Among its provisions, the Act prohibits discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV in settings, such as employment, education, housing, and health care, and holding of public or private office, access to insurance and freedom of movement. It also completely bans the unfair treatment of people living with and affected by HIV in accessing public facilities, such as shops, restaurants, hotels, public entertainment venues, public facilities, and burial grounds.
“By entering the Act into force, the Government of India has given all people living with or affected by HIV protection against discrimination and the promise of legal recourse. The Act will now help more people seek HIV testing, treatment, and care services without fear of facing stigma and discrimination,” said Bilali Camara UNAIDS Country Director for India.
The Act gives an opportunity for an increased access to justice by people living with and affected by HIV, including obligations for health-care institutions to establish complaints mechanisms and an ombudsman supported by special procedures to be followed in courts at the state level. The law also protects the rights of people affected by HIV to informed consent all the time, to confidentiality and to a safe working environment, it promotes the delivery of harm reduction interventions.
“The last week’s repeal of Section 377 of India’s Penal Code and this Act will set the trend globally as India is showing the way to uphold human rights and the rights to live in dignity for all its citizens This is the enabling environment which will help India to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030” concluded Bilali.
Country Director UNAIDS India
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The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at unaids.org