HIV & AIDS Bill 2017 finally passed by Union Cabinet in Lok Sabha; first ever such bill in South Asia

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New Delhi, Apr 12: Yesterday the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Bill, 2017 was finally passed in the Lok Sabha. The bill had been introduced to help strengthen the rights of the people who have been suffering from HIV or AIDS as India reports to be the third largest HIV epidemic in the world. The Union Cabinet finally approved the bill after years of deliberating, in a meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi. Reports claim that in 2015, 2.1 million people were infected and living with this disease as still there hasn’t been a potential cure or preventive measure for it. Despite the change in time and advancement, HIV and AIDS are still considered as a taboo in India and therefore this new bill brings a fresh hope and respite. The Bill makes antiretroviral treatment a legal right for all HIV/AIDS patients. It also states all the several grounds on which discrimination against HIV and AIDS patients is prohibited and the rights that they can enjoy. Anyone who does not adhere to these may have to face civil as well as criminal proceedings. This is the first ever bill to have been passed in South Asia. The Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations aims to end the epidemic by 2030.

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