Parliament on Tuesday passed the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, which provides for the prevention and control of the disease and protection of human rights of those affected by it with the Lok Sabha’s nod to the legislation.
“It will empower the people affected with the disease by giving them legal sanctity,” Health Minister J. P. Nadda said in his reply to the debate in the lower house before the bill was passed.
The bill prohibits any kind of discrimination against such people on ground of treatment, employment and workplace.
“The government will provide free treatment to the people infected with HIV. The ministry will soon come out with a new test and treat policy for the people living with HIV for providing free treatment to them,” he said dubbing the bill as patient-centric and progressive in nature.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on March 21.
Nadda said the government has spent Rs 2000 crore on Anti Retroviral Therapy drugs for such patients last year, while 22,000 testing facilities for HIV and AIDS are functional in the country.
He also appreciated the Indian pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing affordable drugs for the treatment of the disease.