(Prevention & Control), Act 2017

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017, often shortened to the HIV/AIDS Act, is an act of the Parliament of India that provides for controlling and preventing of HIV/AIDS and securing the rights of individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. 

The Act specifically prohibits discrimination of HIV/AIDS patients in public as well in private spheres and also discrimination of a HIV/AIDS patient in matters of employment, education, healthcare, travel, insurance, residence and property, etc, based on their HIV status.

Statutory Provisions:

The Act prohibits discrimination against PLHIVs for the purpose of employment, provides access to educational establishments of such persons, along with access to healthcare and insurance services, renting property, or running for public or private office. The law also prohibits any form of expression that is deemed as inciting hatred against people infected with HIV/AIDS.

As per the Act’s provisions, conducting an HIV test, medical treatment, or research on a person without their informed consent is unlawful, and it prohibits a person from being forced to disclose their HIV/AIDS status, unless mandated by a court order.

The Act also protects the rights of HIV/AIDS affected minors to shared household. However, no informed consent is required by licensed blood banks, medical research, and epidemiological purposes where an HIV test is conducted anonymously and not specifically for the purpose of identifying a HIV positive individual.

The act penalises propagation of hate against HIV/AIDS affected persons with fine and imprisonment for term of three months up to two years, and it makes anti-retroviral treatment (ART) a right for all HIV/AIDS affected persons. It also mandates the central and state governments to provide HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and counselling services to the affected individuals.

Addresses Stigma & Discrimination

Section 3 of the HIV/AIDS (P&C) Act, 2017: acts of discrimination by any person against the protected person are prohibited in:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Public facilities
  • Property-rights
  • Employment
  • Movement
  • Eligibility to stand for and hold public office etc.

Section 4: Penalizes propagation of feelings of hatred, discrimination or physical violence related to HIV/AIDS

Protection of Property of Children affected with HIV

  • Sub-section (1) of section 16: The Central Government or the State Government to take appropriate steps to protect the property of children affected by HIV.
  • Sub-section (2) of section 16 The parents or guardians of children affected by HIV and AIDS may approach the Child Welfare Committee for the safe keeping and deposit of documents related to the property rights of such child or to make complaints relating to such child being dispossessed or trespass into such child’s house.

Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009

  • Children living with or affected by HIV are included within the definition of “Child belongs to Disadvantaged Groups” as defined under section 2(d) of Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.