Rajya Sabha passes HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Bill
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The bill has been drafted to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. The Bill was first introduced in Parliament by the UPA government in its last days in 2014 and was amended by the Union Cabinet in Oct 2016.

Here are the key things to note for doctors -

1) The informed consent for conducting an HIV test is not required -
(a) where a court determines, by an order that the HIV Test is necessary as part of the medical examination;
(b) for procuring, processing, distribution or use of a human body or any part including tissues, blood, semen or other body fluids for use in medical research or therapy: provided that where the test results are requested by a donor prior to donation,
(c) for screening purposes in any licensed blood bank

2) No HIV test shall be conducted or performed by any testing or diagnostic centre or pathology laboratory or blood bank, unless they follow the guidelines laid down for such test

3) When can a doctor ( any healthcare provider) disclose the HIv +ve Status of his/her patient?

a) by a healthcare provider to another healthcare provider who is involved in the care, treatment or counselling of such person, when such disclosure is necessary to provide care or treatment to that person;
b) who is a physician or counsellor, may disclose the HIV +ve status of a person under his direct care to his or her partner, if he/she
(a) reasonably believes that the partner is at the significant risk of transmission of HIV through such person; and
(b) such HIV +ve person has been counselled to inform such partner.

In such a scenario the healthcare provider shall not be liable for any criminal or civil action
for any disclosure of confidential HIV information.

Few Grey Areas
There will be a provision in the rules to provide justification for denying treatment to the patients. But the rules for denying treatment are not clearly specified in the bill.

Section14 (1) of the bill -The measures to be taken by the Central Government or the State for providing treatment including Anti-retroviral Therapy and Opportunistic Infection Management ‘as far as possible’ - is ambiguous and it would defeat the purpose of the bill as it provides a leeway to the Centre and the States.

Source - https://goo.gl/FPK9e4
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