05 July 2011
New Delhi, India
The clause mandates the government to provide free of cost treatment to people living with HIV
The government is planning to remove from the proposed HIV-AIDS Bill the chapter of medical treatment, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
The chapter mandates the government to provide free of cost treatment to people living with HIV as well as free preventive services to protect people from contracting HIV.
"The availability of second line treatment continues to be a huge problem. The chapter is vital and the government's refusal to include it in the Bill comes as a huge disappointment to people living with HIV," a member of the delegation who met the Health Minister said.
In August 2007, the HIV/AIDS Bill prepared by the Health Ministry was sent to the Law Ministry, and in March 2010 the Law Ministry cleared the Bill. Since then, the Bill is pending with the Health Ministry.
"The minister categorically refused to make a commitment on when the government would finalise the bill and introduce it in parliament," the statement said.
For the last five years, groups working in the field of HIV, including the HIV positive people, have been demanding early passage of the Bill.
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