Positive people's networks have protested the deletion of 38 key provisions in the latest version of the HIV-AIDS Bill which is being discussed by the law ministry and health ministry.
The bill was drafted by the health ministry and the Lawyers' Collective in 2006 after discussions with individuals and organisations representing various concerned sections of society, including people living with HIV, sex workers and injecting drug users. It was then sent to the ministry of law and justice for vetting.
In the versions sent back by the ministry, many important provisions were missing. One of the provisions not included is to guarantee emergency health services for people with HIV. HIV patients are often denied treatment in hospitals despite being an emergency, hence the need for this special provision which requires a health official to be appointed, who will give orders within 24 hours if such a situation arises.
Another missing provision in the latest version of the bill is protecting property rights of a child of parents with HIV. Often such rights are unfairly snatched away by relatives.
(Source: Azera Rahman, www.iGovernment.in, October 22, 2009, AIDS-INDIA eFORUM)