Cabinet clears amendments to HIV/AIDS bill

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New Delhi, Oct 5, 2016: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The bill makes antiretroviral therapy a legal right of HIV/AIDS patients and management of opportunistic infections (infections that take advantage of weakness in the immune system and occur frequently).

It also prohibits specific acts of discrimination by the state, or any other person, against HIV-positive people, or those living with such people.

The decision was among several others that the Cabinet ratified in the meeting.

The Bill was first introduced in Parliament by the UPA government in its last days in 2014 and aimed to make anti-retroviral treatment a legal right of HIV/AIDS patients. In July this year, a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had met to smoothen out kinks in the bill, as pointed out by a parliamentary standing committee.

However, The Cabinet also approved two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the meeting – one between India and European Union (EU) on water cooperation and the other with the African-Asian Rural Development Organisation for capacity building in rural development, as reported by media.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, EAM Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and others.

Wefornews Bureau

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