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Bill to Ban Discrimination Against HIV/AIDS Victims In India [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 13, 2017 09:22 AM EDT

India passed the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, to ban discrimination against HIV/AIDS victims. It is the first bill of its kind in South Asia and it's now the largest country in the world to ban discrimination against HIV/AIDS.

India has the 3rd highest population of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world- South Africa with the highest and Nigeria on the second spot. In the year 2015 alone, there have been 2.1 million people living in India with a positive result of the HIV test, the CNN  said in a report.

The bill's main agenda of legislation is to ban discrimination against HIV/AIDS, making it illegal to deny access to education, healthcare and housing, holding public office, and the right to obtain jobs in the workplace, for those living with the disease. The bill also prohibits refusal of entry for those with HIV/AIDS to private business and public places.

According to the Health Minister of India, J.P. Nadda, the bill is considered to be historic since it is the first of its kind in South Asia and it also promises to take action against those who create deviance, discrimination, and hatred, to HIV patients, the Quad City Times reports.

The UNAIDS released a report that in 2015, there were an estimated 36.7million cases of HIV/AIDS globally. On the same year, 68,000 people died in India from the disease.

Steve Kraus, the Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, said in an interview that India's move to push the legislation against the ban of discrimination on AIDS begins to remove barriers and empowers people to change violations and respect other people's human rights.

The bill has received assent from India's Houses of Parliament and is now awaiting for the Presidential approval before the bill turns into a law.

Huidrom Rosenara, an Associate Director with the Delhi-based India HIV/AIDS Alliance said that the bill, when turned into a law, will then protect the rights of people with HIV and would allow them to lead normal lives with dignity and respect.

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