Indian Government Plans to Introduce HIV/AIDS Antidiscrimination Bill, Health Minister Says
April 5, 2005
Indian Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Monday at the First National Conference of AIDS Society of India in New Delhi said that the government plans to introduce legislation aimed at ending discrimination against HIV-positive people in the country, Reuters reports. "We have finalized draft legislation to end discrimination against AIDS patients," Ramadoss said at the conference, adding, "It has gone to the law ministry and will be presented to parliament." HIV-positive people currently face "severe discrimination" in India, and HIV/AIDS advocates say many hotel, factory and textile company employees have lost their jobs because of their HIV-positive status, Reuters reports (Reuters, 4/4). Ramadoss said the bill would target discrimination against women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, according to a Ministry of Health & Family Welfare release. "People living with HIV/AIDS face stigma and discrimination and, therefore, care and support to such patients is indeed to be mainstreamed through general health services," the release states (Health ministry release, 4/4). About 5.1 million HIV-positive people live in India -- the second-largest HIV/AIDS population in the world -- and the number could increase to 20 million by 2015, according to some HIV/AIDS experts. The Indian government currently spends about $146 million, or about 29 cents per person, annually to fight HIV/AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/4).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.