India president approves law banning discrimination against AIDS patients
India president approves law banning discrimination against AIDS patients

Indian President Shri Pranab Mukherjee [official profile] on Monday approved the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill [text, PDF]. The law is intended to prevent discrimination against individuals with HIV and AIDS, and makes it a fine-able offense to disclose the HIV-positive status of an individual against his or her will. These protections extend to employment, service accommodations, property rentals, and insurance. Further, the act requires that informed consent be obtained before any HIV test, treatment, or research is conducted. The act also requires state governments to “take measures to facilitate better access to welfare schemes,” broadly mandating local governments take action to better accommodate individuals with HIV and AIDS. The Bill was initially approved [JURIST report] by the Lok Sabha [official website] earlier in April.

International efforts continue to not only prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS but also to protect the rights of the individuals afflicted. In January the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against New York City for revoking the offer of an emergency dispatch position because the applicant was HIV positive. In June 2016 a group of UN independent human rights experts said that human rights violations contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS [JURIST report]. In May of that same year California’s governor signed Senate Bill 1408 into law, allowing HIV-positive individuals to become transplant donors to HIV-positive recipients [JURIST report]. In 2015 President Barack Obama issued executive order 13703 [JURIST documents] “Implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” which was intended to ensure successful implementation of the the updated national AIDS/HIV strategy.