Law to safeguard rights of HIV, AIDS patients comes into effect; here’s all you need to know

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Aiming to safeguard the rights of HIV and AIDS patients, government on Tuesday announced the implementation of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Act, 2017 beginning 10 September, 2018. The act aims to prohibit discrimination against such patients in terms of treatment, employment and workplace. The Act was passed on 20 April, 2017. No person shall now be required to disclose his HIV status for employment or services purposes, except with their informed consent, and if required by a court order, the Act says. Various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited include: (i) employment, (ii) educational establishments, (iii) health care services, (iv) residing or renting property, (v) standing for public or private office, and (vi) provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies). Each state government is required to appoint an ombudsman to look into the complaints related to the Act violation and the provision of health care services.