`Law to prevent prejudice against HIV patients soon`

New Delhi: Government today pledged to bring a law soon to ensure that there is no discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients as Health Ministry is all set to initiate the process after receiving the draft law from Law Ministry in the next ten days.

"Government will soon bring law against discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients. The Health Ministry will receive the draft law from Law Ministry in next ten days," Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters on the sidelines of of a function to mark World AIDS Day here.

However, he did not mention as to when the bill will be introduced in Parliament.

Activists have been demanding the immediate passage of a law while expressing disappointment over the "apathy" shown towards HIV-infected people. They have alleged that the government was not showing any urgency on the issue and appealed to it to pass the HIV/AIDS bill in the Winter Session.

A group of NGOs and Lawyers` Collective, a legal advocacy group that helped draft the HIV/AIDS bill, said the measure is very important in the light of the "large-scale" discrimination being faced by the HIV positive people in the country.

To create awareness about the HIV, Azad said the government will soon start `Red Buses` on the lines of `Red Trains` which will be used for campaign purposes. "Wherever trains can`t reach, we will use the buses," he said.

Addressing the function, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the city government will provide Rs 1,600-2,000 financial assistance to HIV children as well as children whose parents were infected by it.


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