Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Despite all efforts, HIV/AIDS continues to be a word that generates more anxiety than awareness. The tremendous amount of stigma and shame which this disease has instigated in the minds of people and the fear it evokes is an issue which needs to be tackled as soon as possible.
With this aim, Rajya Sabha has introduced a bill to protect people with HIV/AIDS against discrimination on Tuesday named as The HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill 2014.
Civil society groups and HIV/AIDS-affected people had long been demanding passage of the draft legislation to stop the ongoing discrimination in society.
The draft of this bill was finalised in 2006.Under the proposed law, HIV/AIDS-affected people will be provided protection against discrimination in employment, healthcare, education, travel and insurance, in both public as well as private sectors.
Not only this,the bill proposes imprisonment and fine for those spreading hatred and discrimination against HIV patients.A fine up to Rs.10,000 and two years' imprisonment has been proposed as punishment for spreading hatred against people with HIV/AIDS.
The bill also proposes a legal commitment to provide Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) by the government to the patients as far as possible.
With Agency inputs