Sei sulla pagina 1di 113

Chapter 1

Knowing HIV/AIDS

Dr. Kanta runs a health clinic in a colony of migrant workers. The men go out of the state to work on seasonal occupations and are away for several months. Their families often stay behind. Sreelata's husband, Hari had also been going to work in Punjab. Sreelata was expecting her second child and used to come to Kanta's clinic for a check up. She was keeping good health. However, a blood test revealed that she was HIV+. When her husband returned, Kanta called him and asked him also to take a blood test. He was also HIV +. Kanta explained to them that they need to go to a bigger hospital in the district for treatment. But when they went there, the doctors and the staff refused to treat them. No one even came near them. One of the nurses told them to go away and never come back, or they would be harrassed by the police. She said that they had a very bad disease. Sreelata and Hari came back scared and confused. Hari started abusing Sreelata and blamed her for bringing the disease into the house. His family also started beating and abusing her and asked her to leave the house. They did not allow her to be with her three year old daughter. Soon, the neighbours also got to know and started avoiding her. Some of them asked them to leave the village. One day Hari beat her up severely and asked her to leave the house. Sreelata came to Kanta.
Sreelata : "I have been told that I am HIV+. Everyone around me is abusing and ill-treating me. I am very frightened and unhappy. They say I have a dreadful disease but I feel all right. I can look after my house and family. Why am I being treated like this? What is this disease called HIV? Kanta : We all fall ill at some time or other. But most of the times, we get well without using any medicine. This happens because our body has a natural mechanism called the Immune System. The immune system protects our body from illnesses and diseases and helps us to get well. But our immune system alone cannot protect us every time. For serious illnesses, once in a while, we have to take medicines. The medicines help our immune system to fight the virus. But there are some illnesses which directly affect our immune system and make it very weak. One such illness is HIV/AIDS. Sreelata : What is HIV/AIDS ? Kanta : Many people use the two terms interchangeably to talk about the same condition but these are two separate terms.

Knowing HIV/AIDS

HIV is the short form of 'Human Immunodeficiency Virus'. If a woman or a man has the HIV virus, she/he is called an HIV Positive person (HIV+). This virus damages our immune system. Our body slowly starts losing its ability to fight against illnesses. AIDS is the aggravated form of the infection caused by HIV. It stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. This is the stage when the immune system has become so weak that the concerned person may suffer from more than one illness at a time. The body cannot ward off even minor illnesses. The immune system is weakened to the point that it is difficult to fight off certain infections. These types of infections are called "opportunistic infections" as they use the opportunity to gain a foothold where the immune system weakened by AIDS cannot fight them off. Some of the generally seen opportunistic infections are T.B., Pneumonia, Meningitis etc. Sreelata began to look worried. She asked Kanta how long it takes for HIV to become AIDS and whether there is any way of preventing this from happening. Kanta : A person may be HIV+ for many years without having AIDS. The time lag between becoming HIV+ and getting AIDS greatly varies from person to person. If a person already has a weak immune system, the onset of AIDS would be earlier. On the other hand, if a person has a strong immune system, then the onset of AIDS is delayed. As is the case with other illnesses, early detection helps the person to take extra care of her or his health from the beginning. : You are in good health. Your immune system is strong. You have good habits. You have been eating well and keep yourself, your family and your house clean and strong, even though you do not have much money. So the chance of your getting AIDS are reduced. : According to UNAIDS, joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, 'The course of HIV infection and the development of AIDS does vary among individuals. About 5 to 10% of HIV+ individuals develop AIDS symptoms very rapidly during the first years of infection, and about the same proportion remain infected with HIV for 15 years or more without progressing to AIDS. But on an average, AIDS symptoms develop approximately eight to 10 years after initial HIV infection in people who do not receive Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART).ART is the treatment which reduces the HIV levels in blood and markedly improves the immune system.
2 Knowing HIV/AIDS

Sreelata : But I told you, I feel quite well. Will I also get this disease called AIDS? Kanta

Sreelata : Is it true that people can be HIV+ and not develop AIDS? Kanta

National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) which is the chief agency of the Indian government working on HIV/AIDS says It is still not certain that everyone with HIV infection will get AIDS. However it seems likely that most people with HIV will develop serious problems with their health.' There is also speculation that HIV does not cause AIDS as there have been some groups of individuals who have been HIV+ for many years without progressing to AIDS. Sreelata : Is there an absolute cure for HIV/AIDS? Kanta : Currently there is no cure once a person is infected. However, medicines can slow down the damage that HIV causes to the immune system. Also, doctors are getting better at treating the illnesses that are caused by HIV infection. Many people now consider an HIV infection a manageable, long-term illness.

Sreelata : Have I had this HIV virus since my birth? My husband and his family are accusing me of being a diseased person. Kanta : HIV is transmitted from one person to another if any body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, other body fluids containing blood pass from the infected person to the blood of another person. Usually, it happens through the following ways: (i) Unsafe sexual intercourse. (ii) From mother to child in the womb or at the time of delivery or breast-feeding. (iii) Using infected needles and syringes. (iv) Through infected blood given to a healthy person.

Unsafe sexual intercourse.

It means having unprotected sex, that is, without condoms. The chances increase all the more if a person has multiple sex partners.

I have another patient whose husband has had multipartner unsafe sexual relationships. Being away from home, he has spoken to his wife about having sex with other women. He has high risk of getting HIV infection.
People like him cannot know whether the other person is HIV+ or not and may get infected.

Knowing HIV/AIDS

Sreelata : Is your patient also at the risk of getting HIV? Kanta : Yes, she is at a high risk. A person will get HIV infection if her partner is infected but not using condoms. A woman must always insist upon using condoms. This way she may be able to protect herself from infection.

Sreelata : Our men also go out to work for many days. I have heard that they do have relations with other women there. I know that Hari also does. But what can we do? Can we protect ourselves by using condoms? Kanta : Of course, you can. Ideally everyone should have a single partner. The chances of getting infection are reduced to a great extent.

Parent to child transmission

The chances of parent to child transmission are 1 in 3. If the mother is HIV+, the baby can get infected in the womb itself. Sometimes the child can get infected at the time of delivery or at the time of breast feeding.
Use of Condom is a must for prevention of HIV

Sreelata started to cry. What would happen to her child now?

Kanta : Sreelata, you are a very strong and wise woman. You have been coming to me since you came to know of your pregnancy. That is why we have been able to detect your case early. I have spoken to the doctors in the big hospital. I will see to it that you get all the preventive medicines. These medicines reduce the chance of infection passing to the child.

Sreelata : Thank God for that! It is terrible for a mother to think that her child will suffer. You said that the infection can be passed through breast milk too. So I will certainly not feed the baby. But that is very difficult for poor people like us, because we cannot afford bottles and other milk. Also, when my daughter was born, the doctor who was here before you, insisted that I breast-feed her because it is safer and very good for the baby. This is a dilemma!

Knowing HIV/AIDS


: It is always wise to be careful. Although HIV virus is found in breast milk in very low concentrations, breast milk has many other benefits. Therefore, an HIV+ woman must first take the advice of her doctor before breast feeding the child. Even when the doctor advises breast feeding, she must take a lot of care. HIV virus may be passed on to her baby through breast feeding in two ways: through the milk, through blood, if the nipples are cracked or sore and are bleeding.
An HIV+ woman should take a doctor's advice before breast feeding

Using infected needles and syringes

Kanta : In the dispensary where I worked last, a young girl came to me when she was very sick and weak. She was a drug user. As she didn't have enough money to buy new needles every time she injected herself, she and her friends used each other's needles. I sent her for a blood test because she was so ill. Fortunately, she tested negative at that time but she was in great danger of getting HIV infection. If any of her friends with whom she shared needles were HIV+, she could have got the infection from them.

Sreelata : Many people are like that. Even among poor people, this addiction is ruining many lives. And now there is a danger of contracting this disease by using infected needles. What did you do to protect her? Kanta:I sent her to a drug de- addiction centre. They will help her in the heating the de-addiction process. They will also get her blood test done again so that in case she is infected with the HIV virus, her treatment can start immediately. Sreelata : But you said that she had tested negative? Kanta : Yes, she tested negative at that time. But sometimes, a person may test negative even though he or she has been infected. This is because the antibodies produced by the body in reaction to the virus take a while to develop in the body. It may show up in a few weeks time. We call this period the "window period". In most people, the window period is within 3 months after infection. In rare cases, it can take up to 6 months.

Knowing HIV/AIDS

So people who have been exposed to any situation in which there may have been a risk of getting the infection, should get tests done six months after the last possible exposure. During the six months between exposure and the test, it is important to protect themselves and others from further possible exposure to HIV. Sreelata : But there are hundreds of people, especially young people, use have such addictions. Do all of them have the chances of getting this disease? Kanta : Yes. Drug use increases the chance of getting various infections like HIV, Hepatitis etc. The drug users must be cured of their addiction, or at least, they must be careful to use disposable or disinfected needles and syringes. Disposable syringes are those which are thrown away and destroyed after using it once. Disinfected syringes are those which have been boiled for minimum 20 minutes. You have seen us doing this here in the clinic.

Do not take drugs. Do not share needles.

Sreelata : But why do you have to do it ? Do many drug addicts come here? Kanta : No Sreelata! All needles and syringes must be disinfected, no matter where or on whom they are being used. It is a must for any doctor, nurse or para medic to use disposable syringes or disinfect the syringe and needle according to the directions given by the government. Every person taking an injection should insist that the disposable syringe should be opened in front of her or him or that the needle and syringe should be disinfected.

Sreelata : But how does the HIV virus contaminate the needle? Kanta : As I told you before, HIV virus is transmitted through body fluids. Blood is a body fluid. When a person is injected, his or her blood comes onto the needle and syringe. If the same needle or syringe is used, this contaminated blood will enter the bloodstream of the next person who is using the syringe.

HIV infection can pass if infected blood is given to a healthy person.

Sometimes people need extra blood because they are very weak or because they have lost blood due to an accident or a surgery. If this blood is infected, a person can get infected too.
6 Knowing HIV/AIDS

Sreelata : In my village, children's ears are pierced by using a needle. I have seen that doctors in the city also do it. Can someone get infected like that? Kanta : Such kinds of cases are very rare. The HIV virus is very fragile. Yet, we must insist on use of hygienic methods whenever we visit any place where body or skin is being exposed to any needle or other instruments such as a dentists clinic, a barber shop or places where tattooing, nose or ear piercing is done. All these involve instruments which come in direct contact with the blood. So if the instrument is not sterile, blood of an infected person may pass from one person to another.

Sreelata : Ever since my family came to know of my condition they do not let me touch anything in the house. I am made to eat separately, my clothes are kept separately and I am not even allowed to pick up my child though she keeps crying for me. Kanta : This is because of the many misconceptions regarding the spread of HIV/AIDS. We think that even touching an infected person would give us AIDS. But it is not true. HIV is not spread by: Coughing or sneezing of an HIV + person. Using the same toilet seats with an HIV + person. Sharing towels with an HIV + person. Having water or food from the same containers. Eating food cooked by an HIV + person Hugging and shaking hands with an HIV + person. Insect Bites. Body contact in crowded public places with an HIV + person. Working or playing with an HIV + person. In all these situations, no body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, other body fluids containing blood is passing from the infected person to the blood of another person. Sreelata : But there are so many diseases in the world. Why is this particular disease considered such a serious matter? Why is there so much stigma attached to HIV/AIDS ?
Knowing HIV/AIDS 7


: This particular epidemic is considered to be very serious for many reasons. The most difficult aspect of HIV/AIDS is that though there are medicines which can help in coping with related illnesses, there is no vaccine and no cure for HIV/AIDS till now. When no cure is available for any disease, people start fearing it. This fear leads to stigma against the infected people. There was a time when people were afraid of leprosy and epilepsy in the same way. But now everyone knows they can be cured. So we are not afraid of these diseases. Transmission through sexual mode is the most common mode. At the same time so much of taboo is attached to it. This has resulted in stigma being attached to this disease.

Sreelata : My husband is also HIV+. But why is everybody blaming only me for bringing the disease in the family? Kanta : You know, Sreelata, in our society a woman is usually blamed for anything which is not acceptable to people. Because of her low socio-economic status cannot speak up or defend herself. Earlier, when a couple was not able to have a child, people used to put all the blame on the woman. Women themselves thought they were to 'blame' because of lack of knowledge. But now with the growing awareness about these issues, we know that the husband can also be equally responsible for it. If a person is having problems with her/his health, we should try to help her/him solve them. Blaming such person and making her/his life difficult does not get us very far. Women need to be made aware of their rights. However they are more vulnerable, for many reasons: Because of their physiology they are more prone to infections. Women are generally anaemic and malnourished in our country. This leaves their immune system very weak. Therefore, their chances of contracting HIV, or for that matter, any disease increase very much. Most women get HIV infections through their husbands and /or sexual partners. They are not allowed to make any decisions, so even if they know that their husbands are infected, they are not able to insist on their husbands using condoms. Sometimes they may contract HIV because of sexual violence like rape, where they are unable to protect themselves. Also, they often do not have any information about the disease and ways to prevent it, this increases their vulnerability. When it comes to discrimination, women are more affected by it. They are blamed for bringing the infection in the family. Most often, because they dont have equal rights to property, they are thrown out of the homes. They are not given any share in the property. Even if women are kept at home, the family members refuse to take good care of them.
8 Knowing HIV/AIDS

Sreelata : Yes. I am going through it all. I wish I had never gone for this test and nobody would have come to know about this. Kanta : Sreelata, I know how you feel. This is the story of many other people. But HIV/AIDS will not go away by ignoring it. It will be much worse. That is why we have to become aware about it and take all the precautions and treatment. Now that you are aware about it, you will be able to take all the precautions and live a healthier and better life.

Sreelata : People go for blood tests only when they are sick and the doctor advises them to do. So, how can people know whether they are HIV+ or not? Kanta : The only way to determine definitely whether a person is HIV+ is by getting tested for it. If a person has been in any of the situations mentioned above, she or he should go for testing. A person can get himself or herself tested at the Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centres (VCTC) established at various district hospitals. Here the testing is done free of charge. These Centres are set up by NACO and some private institutions. These centres not only conduct tests but also give help and advise to people before & after testing for HIV. Sreelata : That is good, because it helps a lot to be able to talk to someone freely and get the correct information and advice. It has helped me to talk to you. But what should I do now that I have been detected HIV positive? Kanta : An HIV+ person can keep his/her immune system strong by various means. She/he must: see a doctor for complete medical advice on treatment and health maintenance. Make sure she or he is tested for opportunistic infections like TB and also other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs); start taking treatment if advised; take proper care of her/his nutrition and drink boiled water only; avoid fatigue and stress;

Go for voluntary blood testing

Knowing HIV/AIDS

avoid drugs and alcohol use; get treated for any kind of other infections immediately; protect herself/ himself from any additional exposure to HIV; take the support of professionals, family and friends for relieving stress; inform his/her sexual partner(s) about their possible risk of contracting HIV and the adequate precautions; not donate blood, plasma, semen, body organs or other tissues; protect others from the virus by taking precautions as mentioned above.

Sreelata : I will take all the precautions. But I don't think families or society will ever treat the infected people properly. Along with the disease we will always have to suffer ill-treatment and humiliation everywhere. Kanta : That is not correct, Sreelata. Whenever there is a problem, we have to find a solution. Nobody can be forced to suffer humiliation and indignity. Even people who have committed serious crimes are not supposed to be ill-treated, although they have to serve out their sentence. So why should a person who has a disease be allowed to be ill-treated? Of course, each person must take measures to protect other members of society from the illness. That way, they will get better care and protection. There are laws to protect people from ill-treatment and discrimination. Since everyone is entitled to fundamental human rights without discrimination, people living with HIV/AIDS have the same rights as seronegative (those who are not HIV+) people to education, employment, health, travel, marriage, procreation, privacy, social security, scientific benefits, asylum, etc. Seronegative and seropositive people share responsibility for avoiding HIV infection/re-infection. But many people, including women, children and teenagers, cannot practice safe sex because of their low status in society or lack of personal power. Therefore, men (aware or unaware of their infection) have a special responsibility for ensuring that they do not put their partners at risk.


Knowing HIV/AIDS

Chapter 2

How the Law Helps

We all live within a system in which everyone has a right to live with dignity and respect. No person or group of persons can be allowed to trouble or harass others. If this were allowed, our society would be full of violence and disturbance. So each person has to live within the framework of the law.

Most people do not know the law. They feel that law is something remote and can be accessed only by going to courts through lawyers and by spending a lot of money. So how is it applicable in our daily lives?
'Law' means all those rules made for society which every person is bound to follow. If they are not followed, there can be some punishment. In our everyday lives, we find that if we know the law, we can insist on people doing or not doing certain things. At least we need to know what is allowed by the law and what is not. Many people don't even know that what they are doing is against the law. If we know the law, even we may stop doing certain things which harm others and are against the law.

Who makes the laws?

There is a proper procedure for making laws. People whom we elect to become MPs at the national level and MLAs at the state level make laws. There are laws on many subjects. Each law has a separate name and lays down rules of conduct relating to a particular subject. So, if a person is employing people to work for him, he must pay proper wages according to a law called the 'Minimum Wages Act' and the 'Payment of Wages Act'. If someone wants to make a complaint to the police, the law to be followed will be 'The Criminal Procedure Code'. The Police will also follow this law to take any action on a complaint. Many rules are made under these laws for the day-to-day working of these laws. These are also treated as laws.

What is the role of police and courts?

The police and courts are meant to give practical effect to and ensure compliance with laws that have been made. They do not make the laws. It is the duty of the police to see that law and order is maintained in society. Courts are the places which decide whether any law has been violated or if any person's rights have been taken away or affected by someone else. They give a decision which has to be obeyed. Lawyers explain the law to you and present your case to the court. Usually, we go to court when someone just refuses to follow the law and do his or her duty.
How the Law Helps 11

Sometimes we see that government agencies like the police, government hospitals and others themselves don't do the things which they must do. Doesn't the law apply to them?
Everybody is governed by the law of the country, including the government. There is a basic law which lays down what are the functions of the government. This law also lays down that every citizen of the country has certain basic rights. These rights cannot be taken away by the government. Many of them have to be protected by the government by making special laws. The basic law of the country is called the Constitution of India. The Constitution lays down all the principles according to which the government must function. Some of these principles are considered to be so vital for the functioning of a free and democratic society that even the government cannot tamper with them. One of these is the Fundamental Rights that are assured to all citizens of the country. They are so called, because they are the most basic rights that a person must have in our society and no one is allowed to take them away or limit them in any way. It is the government's duty to see that these rights are not taken away by its own actions or by that of others.

So how would the Constitution and the law help PLWHAs?

There are many ways in which the law can be used by and for the benefit of PLWHAs and also for controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic and making our society safer and healthier: To ensure that PLWHAs are not denied their fundamental rights and are treated like other citizens. To ensure that the rights which are enjoyed by ordinary people are enjoyed by PLWHAs too, to the extent possible. These rights may relate to their homes, their workplaces, public places, healthcare settings etc. To ensure that PLWHAs also get access to facilities such as health care and social security.


How the Law Helps

Chapter 3

HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

What are Fundamental Rights?

Everybody needs some basic rights to live a good life and a life of dignity. Our Constitution guarantees these rights which are basic for our living. These rights are called Fundamental Rights. It is the duty of the State ( by which we mean the government and all its officials, departments and agencies) to see that these rights are not violated by it. This means, that no law or governmental action can violate these rights or limit them in any way. If that is done, the superior courts of our country can pass orders against the government directing it not to make such a law or not to take such an action.

Can the government make a law saying that because of the increasing number of persons with malaria, it is unable to give medical help to such persons and all malaria patients should go for treatment to private doctors so that government resources can be directed towards other patients?
No! This cannot be done by the government, because by doing this, the government is violating the fundamental right to life of the people affected by malaria. These people are also being denied their fundamental right to equality.

So if the government makes such a law, what can people do?

The protection of these rights is so important, that any person can go directly to the High Court or the Supreme Court of India. The Courts will declare that such a law is not valid because it violates these fundamental rights. Every state has a High Court. Besides these High Courts, there is the Supreme Court in New Delhi. In both these places, senior judges sit. Any person can go to these judges if he/she feels that his/her fundamental rights has been violated. You can go through a lawyer. If you are not in a position to engage a lawyer, you can even write a letter addressed to the courts stating your grievance and how your right is being violated. The Courts will ask the government to reply to your grievance. If it is found that the government is doing something wrong, the Courts will stop it from doing such act.

HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights


An HIV+ person went to a private doctor with his report. On seeing the report, the doctor told him to go away and refused to treat him. Can that person go to the High Court and say that his Fundamental Right has been taken away?
No, because the doctor was acting in a private capacity. He did not refuse treatment because of a law made by the government which violated a Fundamental Right. We are guaranteed our Fundamental Rights against illegal actions by the government and not by private individuals. If you wish to take action against a private person, you must establish that he did something which he should not do or he refused to do something which he must do according to a specific law of the country. Persons acting wrongfully in their private capacity cannot be said to violate our Fundamental Rights. Only the government can do this.

So which are the fundamental rights which the government cannot take away ?
1. Right to Equality 2. Right to Freedom 3. Right to Life and Personal Liberty 4. Right to Education 5. Right Against Exploitation 6. Right to Freedom of Religion 7. Cultural and Educational Rights. 8. Right to Constitutional Remedies All these rights will have some restrictions on them. These restrictions are also mentioned in the Constitution itself. The Government may impose restrictions on any fundamental right only within the limits allowed in the Constitution. If it restricts the rights to a greater extent allowed by the Constitution, the Courts will say that the restriction is illegal.
14 HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

How are these rights important for PLWHAs ?

Fundamental rights are important for PLWHAs in two ways: They can avail of these rights just like any other citizen and try to live a normal life. If they find themselves in a situation where they are being denied their rights because they have HIV/AIDS, they can ask for the protection of their fundamental rights.

Right to Equality
Right to Equality means that people in the same situation cannot be treated differently unless there is a valid legal reason. It also means that people cannot be treated arbitrarily.

A state government makes a law that all HIV+ persons working in any government office or any other government establishment will be made to sit separately. They will also have separate toilets, canteens and transport facilities. Such a law violates the right to equality of PLWHAs and will be disallowed by the courts. There is no valid reason why such persons should be isolated because HIV/AIDS does not spread by sitting together, etc. Government has made a distinction for which there is no good reason. Even if they say that all the facilities that they are giving are equal and as good as those given to other employees, it will not be allowed. This kind of distinction amounts to discrimination, which means treating a person or persons as inferior to others who are in a similar situation. Since the government could not implement this law, it passed circulars that all employees having HIV/AIDS must go through a physical examination every week in the office and obtain a certificate that they had no injuries or infections. Discrimination at the work place on the basis of HIV/AIDS is illegal There was no law which authorised the government to pass such a circular. Therefore it was exceeding its power. This kind of use of power is arbitrary, as government has no power to impose conditions like these on anybody.
HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights 15

Article 14: Equality before the law The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth (1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. (2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or (b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads, and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of general public. (3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provisions for women and children. (4) Nothing in this article or in clause(2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. Article16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. (2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State. (3) Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribed in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the government of or any local or other authority within, a State or Union Territory, (4) Nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the state, is not adequately represented in the services under the state. (4A) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for reservation in matters of promotion, with consequential seniority, to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes which, in the opinion of the State are not adequately represented in the services under the State. (4B) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from considering any unfilled vacancies of a year which are reserved for being filled up in that year in accordance with any provision for reservation made under clause (4) or clause (4A) as a separate class of vacancies to be filled up in any succeeding year or years and such class of vacancies shall not be considered together with the vacancies of the year in which they are being filled up for determining the ceiling of fifty percent reservation on the total number of vacancies of that year. (5) Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any law which provides that the incumbent of an office in connection with the affairs of any religious or denominational institution or any member of the governing body thereof shall be a person professing a particular religion or belonging to a particular denomination. The Constitution of India 16

HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

Right to Freedom
Various kinds of freedom have been guaranteed to us under our Fundamental Rights. These freedoms are essential for a free society and enable people to develop their personalities to the fullest extent in all those matters important to human beings. These freedoms are: Freedom of speech and expression Freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms Freedom to form associations and unions Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India Freedom to reside and settle in any part of India Freedom to practice any profession or carry out any occupation, trade or business Freedom of speech and expression Sheeba makes a television documentary in which she raises her voice against the way the government is handling the issue of HIV/AIDS. The government does not allow her to show the documentary on TV although it has been approved by a panel of experts. They ask her to delete the portions in which the government has been criticised. Sheeba's right to freedom of expression is being violated by this action of government. In a democracy, one of the most important rights is to be able to express one's thoughts freely. This includes the right to criticise government.

Does a person have a right to any type of speech and expression?

No. Every right has some restrictions. Speech and expression can be restrained on certain grounds. However, merely criticising the government is not a ground for restricting freedom of speech. Keerti works for spreading awareness about prevention of HIV. Since she works with illiterate people also, she uses pictures depicting how to avoid HIV. Some of the pictures are of the human body, condoms, etc. The Police comes and arrests her for showing 'obscene' pictures and graphics. Keerti has a right to distribute informative pictures for spreading awareness on AIDS. Although obscenity is a ground for restricting the right to freedom of speech and expression, merely showing pictures of human bodies and other matters related to sex, etc. does not amount to obscenity.
HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights 17

Just as Sheeba and Keerti have a right to talk about issues related to HIV/AIDS, every person has a right to know about HIV/ AIDS. The right to know or the right to information is also a part of the right to freedom of speech and expression, because without sufficient information, we cannot form opinions or express ourselves properly.

A government scientific institute did some research on the percentage of HIV transmission from parents to child and shared its findings in a news programme. A counsellor in the VCTC Center asked for a copy of the report so that she could help her patients. The institute refused saying that it was a government document and no copies could be given to anyone.
This is not correct. Every citizen has a right to information from any government agency. Similarly, people have a right to ask for copies of their own hospital records or records of government schemes for the prevention, treatment and control of HIV/AIDS. Freedom to assemble peacefully and without arms. Ruheena and her friends often perform stage plays in public parks on issues related to HIV/AIDS. They have a right to assemble for performing plays. Freedom to form associations 'Soch' is an organisation formed by PLWHAs. They want to register their organisation as a Society which works with PLWHAs and their families. The registrar refuses to register their society saying that such persons cannot form societies. This is not correct. All citizens have a right to form an association for any purpose which is not illegal. The HIV + status of individuals is not a criteria for disqualification. Freedom of movement A is one of the states in India where the rate of HIV prevalence is comparatively lower than some other states. A's State government stops trucks from coming in from another state B, saying that the risk of HIV increases by their coming here. A's government cannot do so. All citizens in the country have a right to move freely within the territory of India. Freedom to reside and settle Reshma and her husband decide to shift from Tamil Nadu to Mumbai as they are facing discrimination because of their HIV + status. They have every right to reside in any part of India.
18 HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

Freedom to practice any profession or carry out any occupation, trade or business. Jyoti is a surgeon working in a government hospital. She is tested HIV +. The hospital superintendent takes out a circular that no patient will be referred for surgery to a doctor who is HIV+. Jyoti can challenge this circular as it takes away her right to practice her profession. She can still do her work by taking certain precautions like using gloves, etc. All doctors are required to take these precautions both for their own benefit and for the benefit of the patients. Therefore singling out HIV+ doctors is against the law, because by taking these precautions, they can function in the same way as other doctors.
Article 19: Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc. (1) All citizens shall have the right (a) to freedom of speech and expression; (b) to assemble peaceably and without arms; (c) to form associations or unions; (d) to move freely throughout the territory India; (e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India ;[and] (f) to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation , trade or business. (2) Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, insofar as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India], the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence. (3) Nothing in sub clause (b) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law insofar as it imposes, or prevents the State from making any law imposing in the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India or public order, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause. (4) Nothing in sub-clause (c) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law insofar as it imposes, or prevent the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India or Public order or morality, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause. (5) Nothing in sub-clauses (d) and (e) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law insofar as it imposes, or prevents the State from making any law imposing, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said sub-clauses either in the interests of the general public or the protection of the interests of any Scheduled Tribe. (6) Nothing in sub-clause (g) of the said clause shall affect the operation of any existing law insofar as it imposes, or prevents the State from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause, and, in particular, nothing in the said sub-clause shall affect the operation of any existing law insofar as it relates to, prevents the tate from making any law relating to,1) the professional or technical qualifications necessary for practicing any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade or business, or 2) the carrying on by the State, or by a corporation owned or controlled by the State, of any trade, business, industry or service, whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise. The Constitution of India

HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights


Right to Life and Personal Liberty

The Right to Life is the most important Fundamental Right. If a person's very existence is not protected, all other rights will have no meaning. The right to life does not mean only a physical existence. It includes all those things which enable a person to live with dignity like the right to food, shelter, clean environment, health and education. Right to Health Right to life includes right to health. This implies that the government is bound to make medical facilities available to everybody in our country.

The Public Health Centre in a district refuses to give medical care to PLWHAs who come with any illness. This violates their right to life.
Article 21 of the Constitution casts the obligation on the State to preserve life. The provision as explained by this Court in scores of decisions has emphasised and reiterated with gradually increasing emphasis that position. A doctor at the government hospital positioned to meet this State obligation is, therefore, duty bound to extend medical assistance for preserving life. Every doctor whether at a government hospital or otherwise has the professional obligation to extend his services with due expertise for protecting life. No law or State action can intervene to avoid/delay the discharge of the paramount obligation cast upon members of the medical profession. The obligation being total, absolute and paramount. Parmanand Katara Vs. Union of India and others, AIR 1989 SC 2039 In a case, the Supreme Court had to consider whether right to health of workers in the Asbestos industries is a fundamental right and whether the management was bound to provide the same? In that context, this Court had held that philosophy of the right to life envisaged under Article 21 enlarges its sweep to encompass human personality in its full blossom with invigorated health which is a wealth to the workman to earn his livelihood. The expression "life" assured in Article 21, does not connote mere animal existence or continued drudgery through life. It has a much wider meaning, which includes right to livelihood, better standard of living, hygienic conditions in the work place and leisure. Right to health and medical care to protect health and vigour, while in service or after retirement, is a fundamental right of a worker In Consumer Education & Research Centre v. Union of India, AIR 1995 SC 636 In a case, the Supreme Court held that "The Constitution envisages the establishment of a Welfare State at the Federal level as well as at the State level. In a Welfare State the primary duty of the Government is to secure the welfare of the people. Providing adequate medical facilities for the people is an essential part of the obligations undertaken by the Government in a welfare State. The Government discharges this obligation by running hospitals and health centres which provide medical care to the person seeking to avail of those facilities. Article 21 imposes an obligation on the State to safeguard the right to life of every person. Preservation of human life is thus of paramount importance. The government hospitals run by the State and the medical officers employed therein are duty-bound to extend medical assistance for preserving human life. Failure on the part of a government hospital to provide timely medical treatment to a person in need of such treatment results in violation of his right to life guaranteed under Article 21. In Paschim Baga Khet Mazdoor Samity v. State of W.B. , AIR 1996 SC 2426


and Fundamental Rights

Right to Live with Dignity Shobha is a teacher in a primary school run by the Municipal Corporation. She tested HIV+ and was asked to leave by the Director of Education. She went to Court and the Court gave an order saying that it was illegal to remove her from her job. They took her back, but she was made to sit separately. She was not given any classes to teach and was not allowed to use the staff room, etc. Lata is in jail. After a test, she is found to be HIV+. After that the warden starts abusing her. She openly taunts her in front of other prisoners. Lata feels humiliated and tries to protest. But the warden tells her she deserves to be humiliated because she is HIV+ and blamed it on her allegedly doubtful character. The warden gives her some extra duties to do so that she can be taught a lesson. Shobha's right to live with dignity is violated. Every person has a right to be treated with dignity. Abusing and taunting people because of the state of their health, depriving them of basic facilities and making them feel inferior are violations of their right to life. Similarly, Lata's right to live with dignity is also being violated. Even prisoners have a right to be treated with dignity. No person can be abused or ill-treated in jail. They cannot be made to do things which are not part of their sentence or part of the normal routine for all prisoners. Right to Privacy and Confidentiality The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality means that an HIV+ woman cannot be forced to get herself tested for HIV. Also, if she gets tested voluntarily, her status cannot be made known to others by the hospital authorities. Sakeena was admitted to a government hospital. She had to have an operation. Before the operation, the junior doctor got her tested for HIV. She tested positive. The senior doctor asked the junior if he had taken her consent before testing. The junior doctor said that it was better for the patient if the test was done, so that any extra precautions could be taken both for her and the medical staff. He said that they never asked the person being tested because they might refuse. He had told all the other staff members of the hospital about Sakeena's condition so that they could also take extra precautions. His senior told him that what he was doing was illegal. Sakeena's right to privacy was being invaded here.
HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

The HIV status of a person cannot be revealed to a third person


Just as we can't be forced to tell anyone about our personal matters, matters relating to our bodies are private matters and every person has a right to choose whether they want others to know about them or not. This is called the right to privacy.
Guidelines under the law (i) the healthcare professionals should not tell the status of their patients to anybody. (ii) They can do it in exception only with the permission of the court, or (iii) when public interest is at stake or (iv) There is an immediate or future health risk to others. Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations 2002

Rose was forced into commercial sex work by her husband. When she was rescued by the police, she was forced to undergo HIV tests. The policewoman said it is mandatory. Did the tests violate Roses right to privacy and confidentiality?
In certain situations, compulsory testing is allowed by the law. This is because while the government is bound to protect the right to privacy of an individual, it may, in some circumstances, have to balance it with the duty to protect the right to health of other persons. That is why, compulsory testing has been held to be legal in the following situations: (i) Sex workers can be compelled to undergo an HIV/AIDS test in the corrective homes. (ii) In cases of divorce on the ground that the other spouse is suffering from HIV/AIDS, that spouse can be compelled by the court to give a blood a specimen for HIV test. Even then, no one can be physically forced to get a test. Refusal to take a test may mean that the court may interpret this action as an intention to hide his or her HIV +status. This may go against the concerned spouse while deciding the case, if other relevant things also show that what is being said by the other party is true. (iii) In case of an offence where a person has negligently or knowingly spread a deadly disease, the person can be compelled by the court to give a blood specimen for an HIV test.


HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

In a case, where there was a detailed discussion of the competing rights of a private party and public rights with reference to the right to privacy of a person suspected of suffering from AIDS, the Court held : "There is an apparent conflict between the right to privacy of a person suspected of HIV not to submit himself forcibly for medical examination and the power and duty of the State to identify HIV infected persons for the purpose of stopping further transmission of the virus. In the interests of the general public, it is necessary for the State to identify HIV positive cases and any action taken in that regard cannot be termed as unconstitutional as under Art. 47 of the Constitution, the State was under an obligation to take all steps for the Improvement of the public health. In India there is no general law as such compelling a person to undergo HIV/AIDS test. Be that as it may, under Prison Laws, as soon as a prisoner is admitted to prison, he is required to be examined medically and the record of prisoners' health is to be maintained in a register. Under the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, the sex workers can also be compelled to undergo HIV/AIDS test. When sex workers are detained in corrective institutions of welfare homes either under Section 10A or under Section 17(4) or 19(2) of the Act, there are adequate provisions for medical examination. We may also notice that all the personal laws make incurable venereal diseases of either of spouses a ground for divorce. Further under Sections 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, a person can be punished for negligence act of spreading infectious diseases. In cases of divorce on the ground that the other spouse is suffering from HIV/AIDS or in case under Sections 269 and 270, I.P .C., and the person be compelled to give blood specimen for HIV test. The immunity under Art. 20 does not extend to compulsion of giving of blood specimens." M. Vijaya v. The Chairman, Singareni Collieries and others, reported in AIR 2001 AP 502 (2002 AIHC 475), In another case, the court held that 1. A matrimonial court has the power to order a person to undergo medical test. 2. Passing of such an order by the court would not be in violation of the right to personal liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. 3. However, the Court should exercise such a power if the applicant has a strong prima facie case and there is sufficient material before the Court. If despite the order of the court, the respondent refuses to submit himself to medical examination, the court will be entitled to draw an adverse deduction against him. Sharda, Appellant V. Dharmpal, 2003-(001)-SCW -1950 SC, 2003-(004)-SCC -0378 SC

HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights


Right to freedom from restraint on movement and actions without any lawful reason Reshma tested HIV+. Rumors about her being a risk to the community grew. A powerful person of the locality influenced the police to arrest her. The police came to her home and asked her to come to the police station. They said they wanted to question her about her acitivities. In the police station she was kept in the lock-up. The police cannot do this. We have a fundamental right to personal liberty. The right to personal liberty mainly protects us from agencies of the government (such as the police) subjecting us to unnecessary restraint. People can be taken to the police station only if they are either arrested or they are called for questioning in the investigation of an offence. A person can be arrested only if an offence is alleged to have been committed by them. Having HIV/AIDS is not an offence by itself so, Reshma cannot be arrested. Moreover, no woman can be called to the police station for questioning. She has to be questioned at her home. The police is acting illegally by treating Reshma in this manner and they can be punished for it.

Other members of Reshma's community came to her support. They first complained to the higher police officials. When they also did not do anything about it, they approached a lawyer. The lawyer went to the police station. He said he would take the matter to the Court. The police apologised and let Reshma go. But now, at all times of the day and night, a policeman watches over Reshma's movements and stands outside her house. They say they are keeping her under surveillance so that she does not go anywhere and spread the disease. Surveillance means to keep watch over a person who is suspected of a crime or who is likely to commit a crime. The lawyer had to go to the High Court to stop them from doing this.
No person can be kept under the surveillance of the police unless there is a good reason under law to do so. There should be a written order of surveillance from a senior officer. No such reason existed for the police to keep watch over Reshma's movements, so their doing so was completely illegal.


HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

Article 20: Protection in respect of conviction of offences (1) No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater the that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence (2) No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once. (3) No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be witness against himself. Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Article 22: Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases (1) No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and it be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice. (2) Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twentyfour hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate and no such the said period without the authority of the magistrate . (3) Nothing in clauses (1) and (2) shall apply (a) to any person who for the time being is an enemy alien ; or (b) to any person who is arrested or detained under any law providing for preventive detention. (4) No law providing for preventive detention shall authorise the detention of a person for a longer period than three months unless(a) an Advisory Board consisting of persons who are, or have been, or are qualified to be appointed as, Judges of a High Court has reported before the expiration of the said period of three months that there is in its opinion sufficient cause for such detention: PROVIDED that nothing in this sub-clause shall authorise the detention of any person beyond the maximum period prescribed by any law made by Parliament under sub-clause (b) of clause (7); or (b) such person is detained in accordance with the provisions of any law made by Parliament under sub-clauses (a) and (b) of clause (7). (5) When any person is detained in pursuance of an order made under any Providing for preventive detention, the authority making the order shall, as soon as may be, communicate to such a person the grounds on which the order has been made and shall afford him the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order. (6) Nothing in clause (5) shall require the authority making any such order as Referred to in that clause to disclose facts, which such authority considers to be against the public interest, disclose. (7) Parliament may by law prescribe (a) the circumstances under which, and the class or classes of cases in which, a person may be detained for a period longer than three months under any law providing for preventive detention without obtaining the opinion of an Advisory Board in accordance with the provisions of sub-clause (a) of clause (4); (b) the maximum period for which any person may in any class or classes of cases be detained under any law providing for preventive detention; and (c) the procedure to be followed by an Advisory Board in an inquiry under sub-clause (a) of clause (4). The Constitution of India 25

HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

There are various provisions, which direct how the police should behave while dealing with the people. Apart from the Constitution, these are found in the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973. At the Time of Arrest : The police should tell the arrested person (arrested person) the reasons for her/his arrest. Accused person cannot be handcuffed. Police can use handcuffs only with the Magistrates order. Accused person can ask for a lawyer of her/his own choice. Accused person can ask for free legal aid, if she/he cannot afford a lawyer. Accused person has to be produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours of her/his arrest. Accused person can take along her/his relatives or friends to the police station. In the Police Station : A woman should only be kept in a female lockup. An accused person should be kept with human dignity. Use of any kind of force by the police is illegal. Accused person can ask the Magistrate for her/his medical examination, if she/he is beaten, abused or tortured by the police. During Interrogation : The investigating officer has to give a written order to call a person for interrogation at the police station. Women cannot be called or taken to the police station or anywhere else for interrogation. They can be questioned only at their residence and in the presence of their family members. A child below the age of 15 years cannot be called to the police station for interrogation. At the Time of Search : Women should demand that their bodily search must be carried out only by another woman in a decent manner.
26 HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

At the Time of Filing of First Information Report (F.I.R.) : A person can demand that her/his FIR be registered. She/he should take some friend or relative along with her/him at the time of filing of the FIR. She/he must first read the FIR, or have someone else read it before signing it. She/he must receive a copy of the FIR free of cost. She/he should approach senior police officers or her/his area Magistrate if the police refuses to register her/his FIR. Bail : There are two kinds of offences - Bailable and Non-Bailable. The police must tell the accused person whether the offence for which she/he has been arrested is bailable or non-bailable. In a bailable offence, a person has a right to be released on bail by the police. In a non-bailable offence, the Accused person has to go to the court for bail. Only a Magistrate can release the person on bail. The Accused person is not required to pay any money for getting bail, neither in the police station nor in the Court.

Right to Education
In present times, education has become very important for living a life with dignity. Keeping this in view, the right to education has been made a fundamental right. It means that the government must provide free and compulsory education to all children between 6-14 years of age. Ramesh and Leela are brother and sister. They are studying in a government primary school. They were found to be HIV+. The principal expels them. He says he is helpless. No children would come to the school if he keeps Leela and Ramesh. Is the principal of the school right in expelling Leela and Ramesh from school?
HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

Nobody can deny children their right to education


The principal has violated their fundamental right to education. This is a fundamental right of all children in India. The principal does not have a right to expel the two children. He must readmit them. We may acknowledge that he does have a real problem. But the solution is to educate the parents of the other children on HIV/ AIDS. He should make them aware that AIDS does not spread by merely sitting together or playing together.
Article 21A: Right to Education The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine. The Constitution of India

Right Against Exploitation

There were many practices in our country, which resulted in the exploitation of the poor such as Child Labour, Bonded Labour and Human Trafficking. Every citizen has a right to be protected from these practices by law. The Government is under a duty to enact laws which protect people from such practices and to punish those who indulge in them.
Article 23. Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour (1) Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. (2) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from imposing compulsory service for public purposes, and in imposing such service the State shall not make any discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste, or class or any of them. Article 24. Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc. No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment. The Constitution of India


HIV/AIDS and Fundamental Rights

Chapter 4

Rights Within the Family

Fundamental rights protect a person from unjust and unfair actions by the government. But people face a lot of discrimination within their own homes. They are discriminated against by their own families. Can the law protect them in any way?
Our families and our personal environment provide us with security and happiness. The way a person lives and behaves within her or his family is a matter of personal choice. Most persons live according to their own traditions, culture and habits. The law cannot regulate these. But the law does regulate certain things which are important for society in general. A person is not allowed to do things which harms others and excuse his conduct by saying that his actions constitute a family matter and the law cannot interfere in it. Rights within the family include rights relating to marriage, divorce, custody of children, maintenance, property and inheritance. These are mostly governed by 'personal laws' which means, that a person will be governed by the law of the community to which she or he belongs. For example, a person is free to marry anyone they choose. But there are laws which lay down certain limits to this rule, such as that one cannot marry one's close relations, etc. These laws are also made according to the customs and traditions followed by the community. For instance, under the law applicable to Hindus, marriage with another person while the first spouse is living, is not allowed. Under the law applicable to Muslims, this is allowed under certain circumstances. People may choose to be governed by another general law, which is the same for all communities. This is called the Special Marriage Act and marriages performed under this law are called 'civil marriages'. The rights to inheritance of persons who get married under this law will be governed by a common law called the Indian Succession Act,1925. But there are some laws relating to family matters which are common to all, no matter which community she or he belongs to. They lay down the rights and duties of persons within a family, which are applicable to all persons no matter which community they belong to. For example, Persons of all communities have to maintain their wives, minor children and old parents who are unable to maintain themselves, i.e, the law requires that their food, clothing, education and shelter should be taken care of. Ill-treatment of a woman by her husband or her in-laws is an offence no matter which personal law one is married under.
Rights Within the Family 29

Right to Marry
Leena and Jeet were engaged to be married. They discovered that Leena was HIV+. A friend told them that an HIV+ person is not allowed to get married.
This is not correct. An HIV+ person can get married provided he or she fulfils all the other conditions for marriage under the law by which he or she is governed. PLWHAs intending to marry must, however, remember the following things : Getting the consent of the other person to the marriage by fraud (for example, concealing any material fact) can be a ground for declaring the marriage void. So, if the HIV+ status is concealed from the other party, he or she could go to court and get the marriage declared void. This means, it would no longer be a marriage in the eyes of the law, An HIV+ person can get married after taking informed consent from the fiance/fiancee because it has taken place by fraud. This will apply to a couple belonging to any community. But sometimes, it may happen that the person was himself not aware of his status. Or he was aware of it but he did not know what being HIV + exactly meant or if he visited a quack and after getting treated believed that he was now cured and then got married. In these cases, it would not be considered as fraud on his part. If either spouse has a venereal disease, that is, a disease which can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, it is a ground for divorce. This is also applicable to people of all religions.
30 Rights Within the Family

Hindu Marriage : Section 12: Any marriage ******shall be voidable and may be annulled by a decree of nullity on any of the following grounds, namely*** (c) that the consent of the petitioner ***.was obtained by force or by fraud as to the nature of the ceremony or as to any material fact or circumstance concerning the respondent*** ***no petition for annulling a marriage on this ground shall be entertained if the petition is presented more than one year after the force had ceased to operate or as the case may be, the fraud had been discovered. Section 13(1) :Any marriage solemnized under this Act, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party***(v) has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 Muslim Marriage Section 2 :A woman married under Muslim law shall be entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on any one or more of the following grounds, namely:***(vi) ***that the husband is suffering from virulent venereal disease The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 Christian Marriage Section 19: ***Nothing in this section shall affect the jurisdiction of the district court to make decree of nullity of marriage on the ground that the consent of either party was obtained by force or fraud. Section 10:Any marriage solemnized, may, on a petition presented to the district court either by the husband or the wife, be dissolved on the ground that since the solemnization of the marriage, the respondent***(v) has, for a period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition, been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form The Divorce Act, 1869 Civil Marriage: Section 25: Any marriage solemnized under this Act shall be voidable and may be annulled by a decree of nullity if*** (iii) the consent of either party to the marriage was obtained by coercion or fraud, as defined in Indian Contract Act,1872*** ***Provided that the court shall not grant a decree if proceedings have not been instituted within one year after the coercion had ceased, or as the case may be, the fraud had been discovered; the petitioner has with his or her free consent lived with the other party to the marriage as husband and wife after the coercion had ceased, or as the case may be, the fraud had been discovered Section 13(1): ***a petition for divorce may be presented to the district court either by the husband or the wife on the ground that the respondent(f) has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form The Special Marriage Act, 1954

Rights Within the Family


Many people are under the impression that HIV+ persons are not allowed to marry at all. This is because the highest court in our country, the Supreme Court had observed in a case that one of the biggest reasons for HIV transmission is through the sexual route, so an HIV + person's right to marry should be suspended. But it later clarified that this remark was not necessary. So legally, there is no bar to an HIV+ person's right to marry.

Mr. X offered to donate blood in a hospital. The hospital ran a few tests on the blood. It tested HIV+. The hospital revealed the HIV status of Mr. X to his uncle. His uncle passed on this information to X's fiance. The marriage was called off. X filed a case in the consumer forum seeking compensation from the hospital. He argued that the hospital did not have any right to disclose his status. The case went upto Supreme Court. The court held that the hospital did not do anything wrong. The Right to Confidentiality is a restricted right. The hospital saved the right to life of the girl. The hospital protected the right to life of this girl. It also observed that as long as a person is not cured of the communicable venereal disease or impotency, the right to marry cannot be enforced through a court of law and shall be treated to be a suspended right. Mr. X Vs. Hospital Z(1998) 8 SCC 296 An appeal was filed in the above case in the Supreme Court challenging the suspension of Right to Marry. The supreme court clarified it decision and held that the hospital did not do anything wrong in disclosing the facts to the fiance. However the Court should not have passed any comment about right to marry as the matter before them was not whether an HIV+ person has the Right to Marry or not. Therefore, those observations were uncalled for. Mr. X v. Hospital Z(2002)SCCL.COM 701

But many people say that it is mandatory to get tested for HIV before marriage?
No, it is not mandatory. If a party so wishes, it can ask the other party to the marriage to get tested for HIV, but it cannot force him/her to do so.

Meena got married to a man who was HIV+. Although he knew about it, he did not tell Meena. He also did not take any precautions. As a result, Meena also became HIV+. She was very angry. She then filed a case for declaring the marriage void because he had concealed important information from her. She also filed a police complaint. Her husband was arrested and sentenced to three months imprisonment.
Meena's husband was not punished because he got married but because (1) he married Meena without telling her about his HIV+ status and (2)by not taking proper precautions, he wilfully passed on a deadly infection dangerous to Meenas life.
32 Rights Within the Family

Such situations can be avoided by two simple precautions: An HIV+ person should always tell her/his partner about her/his status and take his/her informed consent. They should always use necessary precautions (such as condoms) to prevent the chances of passing on the infection to their partner.
Whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both. Section 269, Indian Penal Code, 1860 Whoever malignantly does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. Section 270, Indian Penal Code, 1860

Meena's husband said in court that Meena was lying and that he does not have HIV. The judge ordered him to file his blood report. He refused to do saying that he cannot be forced to do it as it is against his right to privacy and confidentiality guaranteed by the Constitution.
Of course, the judge could not physically force him to take a blood test, but because he refused and could not prove in any other way that he does not have HIV, his refusal went against him. The judge decided in Meena's favour and declared her marriage void.

Right to Parenthood
Hemanti and Kaushal are both HIV+. They get married after telling each other about their status. Now they want to have a child. Their friends say that they should not have a child, as the chances of the child's getting HIV infection are very high. Also, even if he is not HIV+, they may not live long enough to take proper care of the child.
Just like other couples in the country, an HIV+ couple also has the right to become parents. If they want a child they should first consult a doctor as to how to minimize the chances of the passing on HIV infection to the child. They must take the decision themselves while keeping in mind the future of the child.

Kaushal started to worry. Also, he had learnt from the doctor that the child in the womb was a girl child. He tried to force Hemanti to get an abortion done. Hemanti was not ready for it. Also, she was afraid to do so, as she was already four months pregnant. Kaushal forced her to go to a local 'Dai' and get the abortion.
Rights Within the Family 33

Detection of the sex of the foetus is illegal. If any doctor or specialist conducts sex determination of foetus, he will be punished. Abortion is legal in our country but only for certain reasons. A pregnancy can be terminated only if : continuing the pregnancy involves a risk to the mother's life. continuing the pregnancy would cause grave damage to the physical or mental health of the mother. it has been caused by rape. the child is born, it would be gravely deformed. any method of family planning adopted by the couple has failed. the life of the woman is in danger, considering her situation and environment. Even if these reasons exist, an abortion can be performed only if the following conditions are satisfied: The woman concerned must give her consent to the abortion; The abortion can be performed only by a registered medical practitioner. An Abortion carried out by midwives, nurses or quacks is illegal. The abortion should only be performed in a government hospital or in a hospital or clinic authorized by the government. The abortion can only be performed before 12 weeks of pregnancy on the advice of a doctor. If the pregnancy exceeds 12 weeks, then it can be terminated only on the advice of two doctors. The abortion cannot be performed if the pregnancy exceeds 20 weeks.

Right against Domestic Violence

Julie was found HIV+. She had contracted it from her husband. But after knowing her status, her husband started beating her and calling her immoral. His mother started abusing her and would not give her any food. Julie was treated so badly that she finally decided to end her life. Fortunately, her brother came and took her away to his house. They filed a complaint in the police station.

Domestic violence is a crime

Rights Within the Family

A married woman can file a report in the police station against any kind of physical or mental cruelty inflicted upon her by her husband or her husband's family. Violence and torture by the husband or his family, which may result in a woman ending her life or may result in a serious injury to her, is a crime. Any victim or her near relatives can complain of such treatment. An HIV+ woman has the same right to complain in such a case as any other woman.
Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation: for the purposes of this section, cruelty means any wilful conduct which is of such a grave nature as is likely to drive a woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand. Section 498A, Indian Penal Code,1860

Rights within the parental family

Benazir is an orphaned 10-year-old girl, staying with her uncle. She tests HIV+. Her uncle takes her to a park and abandons her there. What can she do? Kamaldeep is a 13-year-old girl. When she tests HIV+, her father starts beating her mercilessly so that she dies soon. He also does not give her food. He says that she is going to die in any case. Its better if she dies earlier. What can she do? Sailaja has two other sisters. Tests reveal that she is HIV+. When her father comes to know of it, he locks her up in the room. He does not allow her to meet her own sisters. He says that she would infect them also. He also does not allow her to meet any guests. He says that if they come to know about her status, nobody would marry her sisters. What can Sailaja do?
Sometimes we see that because of the HIV+ status of a child, the parents also start discriminating against their own children. Illtreating children is an offence. The law says: A parent or a guardian is bound to look after his or her child or a child under his or her care. It is Benazir's uncles duty to look after her. Leaving a child under 12 years of age in any place with the intention of abandoning him/her is an offence. Benazir's uncle can be sent to jail for this.
Rights Within the Family 35

Beating and ill-treating a child is an offence. No parent can say that they are entitled to beat a child because it is their own child. Children who do not have any person to care for them or who are ill-treated by their families are called "children in need of care and protection". Such children will be taken by the government authorities and kept in a home for children or handed over to foster parents. If such children are found to be suffering from a disease which requires prolonged treatment, the government authorities will send them to approved hospitals for treatment. Keeping any person, even a child, locked up is an offence. Any person can go to the police and complain about it. If the police do not do anything, anyone can go to the High Court or Supreme Court with all the facts. The Courts will order such a child to be produced before them. Nobody can cause grievous hurt to a child knowingly. Nobody can stop a girl above the age of 18 from going to any place where she/he has the right to go. Nobody can wrongfully restrict a child from moving out of the boundaries of any place.
Section 317 : Whoever being the father or mother of a child under the age of 12 years, or having the care of such child, shall expose or leave such child in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning the child, shall be punished with an imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 7 years or with fine or with both. Section 322 : Whoever voluntarily causes grievous hurt with the intention of causing it shall be punished with an imprisonment upto 7 years. Section 339 : Whoever voluntarily obstructs any person so as to prevent the person from proceeding in any direction in which that person has a right to proceed is said to wrongfully restrain the person. Section 340 : Whoever wrongfully restrains a person in such a manner as to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits is said to wrongfully confine the person. Indian Penal Code, 1860


Rights Within the Family

Section 2: (d) "...child in need of care and protection" means a child (i) who is found without any home or settled place or abode and without any ostensible means of subsistence; (ii) who resides with a person(whether a guardian of the child or not) and such person(a) has threatened to kill or injure the child and there is a reasonable likelihood of the threat being carried out, or (b) has killed, abused or neglected some other child or children and there is a reasonable likelihood of the child in question being killed, abused or neglected by such person, (iii) who is mentally or physically challenged or ill children or children suffering from terminal diseases or incurable diseases having no one to support or look after, (iv) who has a parent or guardian and such parent or guardian is unfit or incapacitated to exercise control over the child, (v) who does not have a parent and no one is willing to take care of or whose parents have abandoned him or who is missing and run away child and whose parents cannot be found after reasonable inquiry (vi) who is being or is likely to be grossly abused, tortured or exploited for the purpose of sexual abuse or illegal acts, (vii) who is found vulnerable and is likely to be inducted into drug abuse or trafficking, (viii)who is being or is likely to be abused for unconscionable gains, (ix) who is victim of any armed conflict, civil commotion or natural calamity; Section 23: Whoever, having the actual charge of, or control over, a juvenile or the child, assaults, abandons, exposes or willfully neglects the juvenile or causes or procures him to be assaulted, abandoned, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such juvenile or the child unnecessary mental or physical suffering shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or fine, or with both. Section 32: Any child in need of care and protection may be produced before the Child Welfare Committee by one of the following persons (i) any police officer or special juvenile police unit or a designated police officer; (ii) any public servant; (iii) child line, a registered voluntary organization or by such other voluntary organization or an agency as may be recognised by the State government; (iv) any social worker or a public spirited citizen authorized by the State Government; or (v) by the child himself Section 33(3): After the completion of the inquiry if the committee is of the opinion that the said child has no family or ostensible support, it may allow the child to remain in the children's home or shelter home till suitable rehabilitation is found for him or till he attains the age of 18 years (1) The primary responsibility for providing care and protection to children shall be that of his family. (2) Adoption shall be resorted to for the rehabilitation of such children as are orphaned, abandoned, neglected and abused through institutional and non-institutional methods. Section 48: Committal to approved place of juvenile or child suffering from dangerous diseases and his future disposal (1) when a juvenile or the child who has been brought before a competent authority under this Act, is found to be suffering from a disease requiring prolonged medical treatment or physical or mental complaint that will respond to treatment, the competent authority may send the juvenile or the child to any place recognised to be an approved place in accordance with the rules made under this Act for such period as it may think necessary for the required treatment Where a juvenile or the child is found suffering from leprosy, sexually transmitted disease, Hepatitis B, open cases of TB and other such diseases or is of unsound mind, he shall be dealt with separately through various specialized referral services or under the relevant laws as such. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 37

Rights Within the Family

Anita was found to be HIV+. Her husband forced her to leave the house. Can she ask for maintenance from him? Kusum was married to Raghav. She found out that Raghav was already married. He had left his first wife and run away from his city because he was found to be HIV+. Once Kusum came to know his HIV+ status, he abandoned her also. Can Kusum also ask for maintenance from him ? Moi and Abraham are both not in favour of getting married. But both want to start a family and so they enter into a 'live in' relationship. They stay together without getting married. After sometime, Moi learns that she is HIV+. She is now afraid that Abraham will leave her. Can Moi ask for maintenance from Abraham in that case ? Saira was HIV+. Her husband left her. He did not give her any maintenance. Can she ask for maintenance from him? Susan was found to be HIV+. Her husband divorced her. Can she ask for maintenance from him? Shrikrishnan and Godavari are HIV+. They have two sons and one daughter. The children have forced their parents to leave the home. They are not giving them any maintenance. The parents do not have any source of income of their own. What can they do? Ruth is fourteen years old and is HIV+. Her father forces Ruth and her mother to leave the house. Her mother earns very little and cannot afford to pay her fees. Can Ruth get maintenance from her father?
Under the law, a wife can ask for maintenance from her husband, even after divorce. Similarly, old parents who have no means to support themselves can ask for maintenance from their children. Children can ask for maintenance from their parents upto the age of 18 years. An HIV+ person also has all these rights. No person can refuse to look after the needs of a child, wife or old parents only because they are HIV+. A wife is entitled to maintenance even if she divorces her husband or lives separately from him because of his misconduct, e.g. cruelty, adultery or deserting her. Maintenance can be asked for under the law applicable to the community to which the wife belongs or under a law called the "Criminal Procedure Code, 1973." In the above examples Anita, Saira and Susan can ask for maintenance from their husband.


Rights Within the Family

Kusum cannot ask for the maintenance as her marriage is not valid. So, she would not be considered Raghav's wife. But since Raghav had committed a fraud by not telling her about his first marriage, she can ask for compensation from him. Moi also cannot ask for maintenance as she is not legally wedded to Abraham. Only after she becomes his wife, can she ask him for maintenance. Srikrishna & Godavari can ask for maintenance from their children. Similarly both Ruth & her mother can ask for maintenance from her father separately.
For Hindus Section 24: Maintenance pendente lite and expenses of proceedings Where in any proceeding under this Act it appears to the court that either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent income sufficient for her or his support and the necessary expenses of the proceeding, it may, on the application of the wife or the husband, order the respondent to pay the petitioner the expenses of the proceeding, and monthly during the proceeding such sum as, having regard to the petitioner's own income and the income of the respondent, it may seem to the court to be reasonable. Provided that the application for the payment of the expenses of the proceeding and such monthly sum during the proceeding, shall, far as possible, be disposed of within sixty days from the date of service of notice on the wife or the husband, as the case may be. Section 25: Permanent alimony and maintenance (1) Any court exercising jurisdiction under this Act may, at the time of passing any decree or at any time subsequent thereto, on application made to it for the purpose by either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, order that the respondent shall pay to the applicant for her or his maintenance and support such gross sum or such monthly or periodical sum for a term not exceeding the life of the applicant as, having regard to the respondent's own income and other property, if any, the income and other property of the applicant [, the conduct of the parties and other circumstances of the case], it may seem to the court to be just, and any such payment may be secured, if necessary, by a charge on the immovable property of the respondent.*** The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 Section 18: Maintenance of wife (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained by her husband during her life time. (2) A Hindu wife shall be entitled to live separately from her husband without forfeiting her claim to maintenance(a) if he is guilty of desertion, that is to say, of abandoning her without reasonable cause and without her consent or against her wish, or willfully neglecting her; (b) if he has treated her with such cruelty as to cause a reasonable apprehension in her mind that it will be harmful or injurious to live with her husband;

Rights Within the Family


Section 19: Maintenance of widowed daughter-in-law (1) A Hindu wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be maintained after the death of her husband by her father in law: Provided and to the extent that she is unable to maintain herself out of her own earnings or other property or, where she has no property of her own, is unable to obtain maintenance(a) from the estate of her husband or her father or mother, or (b) from her son or daughter, if any, or his or her estate. (2) Any obligation under sub-section (1) shall not be enforceable if the father-in-law has not the means to do so from any coparcenary property in his possession out of which the daughter-in-law has not obtained any share, and any such obligation shall cease on the remarriage of the daughter-in-law. Section 20: Maintenance of children and aged parents (1) Subject to the provisions of this section a Hindu is bound, during his or her lifetime, to maintain his or her legitimate or illegitimate children and his or her aged or infirm parents. (2) A Legitimate or illegitimate child may claim maintenance from his or her father or mother so long as the child is a minor. (3) The obligation of a person to maintain his or her aged or infirm parent or a daughter who is unmarried extends in so far as the parent or the unmarried daughter, as the case may be, is unable to maintain himself or herself out of his or her own earning or other property. The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1953 For Muslims Section 3: Mahr or other properties of Muslim woman to be given to her at the time of divorce (1) *** a divorced woman shall be entitled to(i) a reasonable and fair provision and maintenance to be made and paid to her within the iddat period by her former husband; (ii) where she herself maintains the children born to her before or after her divorce, a reasonable and fair provision and maintenance to be made and paid by her former husband for period of two years from the respective dates of birth of such children; (iii) an amount equal to the sum of mahr or dower agreed to be paid to her at the time of her marriage or at any time thereafter according to Muslim law; and (iv) all the properties given to her before or at the time of marriage or after the marriage by her relatives or friends or the husband or any relatives of the husband or his friends. Section 4: Order for payment of maintenance (1) *** ,where the Magistrate is satisfied that a divorced woman has not remarried and is not able to maintain herself after the iddat period, he may make an order directing such of her relatives as would be entitled to inherit her property on her death according to Muslim law to pay such reasonable and fair maintenance to her as he may determine fit and proper ,having regard to the needs of the divorced woman, the standard of life enjoyed by her during her marriage and the means of such relatives and such maintenance shall be payable by such relatives in the proportions in which they would inherit her property and at such periods as he may specify in his order: 40

Rights Within the Family

Provided that where such divorced woman has children, the Magistrate shall order only such children to pay maintenance to her, and in the event of any such children being unable to pay such maintenance, the Magistrate shall order the parents of such divorced woman to pay maintenance to her*** (2) Where a divorced woman is unable to maintain herself and she has no relative as mentioned in sub-section (1) or such relatives or any one of them have not enough means to pay the maintenance ordered by the Magistrate or the other relatives have not the means to pay the shares of those relatives whose shares have been ordered by the Magistrate to be paid by such other relatives under the proviso to sub-section (1), the Magistrate may, by order direct the State Wakf Board established under section 9of the Wakf Act,1954 (29 of 1954),or under any other law for the time being in force in a state, functioning in the area in which the woman resides ,to pay the shares of such of the relatives who are unable to pay, at such periods as he may specify in his order. Section 5: Option to be governed by the provisions of sections 125 to 128 of Act 2 of 1973. If, on the date of the first hearing of the application under sub-section(2)of section 3,a divorced woman and her former husband declare, by affidavit or any other declaration in writing in such form as may be prescribed, either jointly or separately, that they would prefer to be governed by the provisions of section 125 to 128 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; and file such affidavit or declaration in the court hearing the application, the Magistrate shall dispose of such application accordingly. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 For all persons irrespective of their community Section 125: Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents (1) If any person having sufficient means neglects or refuses to maintain (a) his wife, unable to maintain herself, or (b) his legitimate or illegitimate minor child, whether married or not, unable to maintain itself, or (c) his legitimate or illegitimate child (not being a married daughter) who has attained majority, where such child is, by reason of any physical or mental abnormality or injury unable to maintain itself, or (d) his father or mother, unable to maintain himself or herself. a Magistrate of the first class may, upon proof of such neglect or refusal, order such person to make a monthly allowance for the maintenance of his wife or such child, father or mother, at such monthly rate as such Magistrate thinks fit, and to pay the same to such person as the Magistrate may from time to time direct : Provided that the Magistrate may order the father of a minor female child referred to in clause (b) to make such allowance, until she attains her majority, if the Magistrate is satisfied that the husband of such minor female child, if married, is not possessed of sufficient means.*** The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Rights Within the Family


Custody of Children
Suneeta was divorced by her husband as she was HIV+. Her husband took away her two year old child. Suneeta's lawyer made an application to the court for getting her child back. Her husband argued that the child should not be given to Suneeta as she was ill and also because she was immoral.
Under the law, very young children have a right to stay with their mother. That the mother has HIV/AIDS is not a valid ground for separating the mother and the child. If the mother is too sick and cannot look after the child at all, the court may give the custody to the father. If the father is not found fit to take care of the child, the court can give custody to someone else like the grandparents. In all the cases the court will look at the welfare of the child. Even if the mother can't pay the child's expenses, she can keep the child. Her husband will have to give the maintenance for the child. He will also have to pay separately for his wife.

Suneeta got her child but her husband tried to take him away by force. He said he is the natural guardian and can take the child with him.
He can visit or take the child only if the court has allowed him to do so. If he tries to take the child by force, it will be an offence and Suneeta can complain to the police.

Neena's father died leaving behind a lot of land. Her brothers told her that she cannot be given a share as she has AIDS and is not going to live long. Can Neena get her share?
Yes. Like any other woman, an HIV+ woman also has the right to inherit property. Women of all communities have some right to the property of their deceased : Father and mother husband Son Her exact share will depend on the personal law of her religion. Even if a woman dies before she receives her share of the property, her children or other heirs can claim the property. Women should definitely claim their share in the property as it is theirs by right. She or her children can use it when the need arises.
42 Rights Within the Family

Hari died leaving behind his widow and two year old child. His parents found out that his wife Sunitha was also HIV+. They asked her to go and live separately. Sunitha asked her friend who was a lawyer, what she should do. Her friend advised her:
Every woman has a right to a share in the property of her deceased husband. Under the law pertaining to all communities, a person's widow and children have a right to his property. But usually, women are denied this right and they find it too cumbersome to go to court and fight for their rights. However, all women should remember : A woman gets a share in her husband's property automatically upon his death. She should take a Death Certificate and some proof of her identity and approach the relevant authorities for changing the name of the owners of that property. If the property is a land or a house in a city, this will be done in the office of the authority under whom the property is situated. If the land or house is in a rural area, the Tehsildar or other local revenue officer will make the change. She may require a certificate from the local panchayat. Sometimes they may ask for a Succession Certificate or Letters of Administration. These are certificates from a Court declaring who are the heirs of the deceased person. This process is simple but may take a few months. A list of all the heirs will have to be given to the Court. The Court will ask for a notice to be published in the newspaper, so that if there is anyone else who has a claim, they can be included. After this process, the certificate will be issued. This certificate can be used by all authorities to transfer property rights and make changes in the ownership of such property. For example, it can be used to allow operation of bank accounts in the name of the deceased, to obtain his Provident Fund etc.

Kamala's husband died. Her brother-in-law made her sign some blank papers saying that they were required for transferring property in her name. Later, she found out that he had got the transfer made in his own name.
Many women face this problem. No one should sign any blank paper or sign a paper without reading it through or getting it read by someone she trusts. Sometimes women are tricked in this manner into signing a document like a Relinquishment Deed stating that she is giving up her right to the property, or a No Objection Certificate (NOC) stating that she has no objection to the property being sold or transferred. Often, a document called Power of Attorney is made on blank paper giving another person the power to act on her behalf. On the basis of this document, property is disposed off without the woman knowing. So women must learn to read and sign documents carefully and keep copies of such documents. Even if a woman has been deceived, she can challenge the document by saying that a fraud has been committed. But this is a long process and she will have to go to court for it. So it is better to be careful and not sign any documents in haste.

Rights Within the Family


Neelu's husband had AIDS and wanted to secure his familys future. So, he made a Will giving all his property to Neelu. After his death, her father-in-law managed to get hold of the Will and tear it up.
A Will is a way of deciding what will happen to one's property after one's death. It is a document written and signed by a person who owns the property. A Will can be made on a plain piece of paper. No Stamp Paper is required to write a Will. It should say clearly which property is to be given to whom. That is, the name and description of the property and the name and description of the person should be clearly given. It should be signed before two witnesses. The witnesses should also sign on the Will saying that they have seen the maker signing it. To keep the Will safe and to prove it later on, it is better to get the Will registered. The registration is done in the office of the Sub-registrar and is a simple process. A Will comes into operation only after the death of the person who has written it.

Later Neelu came to know that her husband's Will had been registered so she managed to get a copy of it. But when she went to the Bank to withdraw her husband's money, the Manager told her to get a Probate. What is that?
A Probate is a certified copy of the Will. It establishes that the will is genuine and valid. It is given by the Court. This is also a simple process but can take time just like other court processes, especially if someone challenges the Will.

Maniamma had AIDS. To secure her children's future she wanted to make a Will. Her father-in -law told her that because she was seriously ill, she was not entitled to make a Will. Instead, she should sell her property and give him the money. He would take care of the children after her.
Every woman has a right to make a Will. Any person can make a Will. Being ill or having HIV/AIDS does not mean that a person cannot make a Will. The only requirement is that she should make it while in her full senses and she should not be under anyones influence or be forced to make the Will.

Radha, a widow died without making aWill. She had two daughters who were studying in school and college. Her husband's brother said that since she did not have a son, he would be entitled to her property as girls have no right to their mother's property.
A woman's children are entitled to her property after her death. Under all religions, children( sons or daughters) have a right to the property of their mothers.
44 Rights Within the Family

Sayeeda owned a house. She made a Will of her property in favour of her son. After she made the Will, her son said that now he was the master of the house and she must do whatever he says. He started ill-treating her and also kept threatening to sell the house. Since she was HIV+, he kept her confined to one room. He does not allow his sisters to visit her and says he will not let anyone enter his house.
It is important to remember that a Will takes effect only after the death of a person. Until the person is alive, she has full rights over the property that belongs to her, even if she has made a Will. A Will can also be changed any time till the person is alive. A Muslim woman can Will only 1/3 (one third) of her property. After Sayeeda's death, her daughters will still have some right in her remaining property.

Anita worked in a garments factory. She wanted to buy a house with her savings. Since she was HIV+ and not keeping in good health, her husband told her that it would be better if the property was registered in his name. Then, the children could benefit from it.
Any woman can hold property in her name. All gifts given to her by her family or her husband's family belong only to her. She can buy and register property in her own name. She can decide to whom her savings, life insurance, pension or provident fund will go after her death. A woman's children will inherit her property after her death.

Rights Within the Family


Chapter 5

Rights at the Workplace

Jhuniya had been working as a safai karmchari (sweeper) in a factory. The employer Babulal sent all workers for a compulsory health check-up. The check-up also included HIV tests. He did not mention this fact to his employees. Jhuniya tested positive for HIV. The doctor who had conducted the test stated that Jhuniya was still fit for the job she had been doing. But the employer still dismissed her. He was afraid that Jhuniya would spread the infection to others in the factory. When the workers' union took up Jhuniya's matter, Babulal took her back. He told her he would take her at a lower salary than other workers doing similar work, because in any case, no one would give her a job. Jhuniya was afraid of losing her job, so she agreed. Babulal also made her bring along her 11-year-old daughter to help in the factory. Jhuniya began to face a lot of problems at work. She was asked to come and work on all days of the week. Sometimes she had to stay back and clean the premises during the night shift. The male workers would not allow her to use the toilet, so she had to go outside the factory premises to relieve herself. Knowing Jhuniya's fears and her weak position because of her compulsion to work, Devidayal, a fellow worker, started harassing her in the factory. He started remarking on her dress, her body, etc. One day, he told her, "So what if you have AIDS, I don't mind having sex with you." After some time, Jhuniya could not bear these advances and complained to the supervisor. The supervisor laughed it off saying that men have a tendency to say such things, so she should take it in the right spirit. So long as Babulal had not touched her, he could not do anything about it. He also added that since Jhuniya was a young and attractive woman, Babulal could not be blamed for his attitude. Thereafter, the superintendent also started calling her to his room frequently to ask what Babulal had said. He would then comment on it and joke about it. He then asked her to have sex with him, or he would get her removed from the job. Eventually, he started raping her in the factory premises.

Discrimination at work place is illegal

Rights at the Workplace

Many women find themselves in such situations. In the case of HIV+ persons it is even more so. Therefore, it is important to know what the law says regarding the rights of working women. These laws apply to government as well as private workplaces.

No HIV testing without consent

An employer does not have the right to get HIV tests done on any employee without her/his consent. It is not necessary to test for HIV/AIDS as a part of the assessment of fitness to work.

Right to keep a job

A person cannot be removed from her job only because she/he is HIV+. This would amount to discrimination. It is unjust and unlawful to dismiss a worker : (i) who is fit to do the job, (ii) who is qualified to perform the job and (iii) who is not a risk to others

X' had been working as a casual labourer in a public sector company. In 1993 he was subjected to various tests. He tested positive for AIDS. In 1994 his name was removed from the lists of the labourers. The doctor who had conducted the test had stated that inspite of his HIV + status, 'X' was fit for his job. The report also stated, that the disease was prolonged and would not show any symptoms for a long time. But the employer, fearing the spread of infection had dismissed him. 'X' filed a case in the High Court, which held that an HIV positive person could not be denied recruitment to a job as long as he can perform his duties and he does not pose a significant risk to others. Medical test must pass the rigors of Article 14 and 21 To protect such a person from discrimination, he could be allowed to file his case under a assumed name. MX v. ZY AIR 1997 Bom. 406

Rights at the Workplace


Guidelines for A Workplace: Management Responsibility Management must make sure that: There is no discrimination towards the persons infected with HIV. It provides a basic code of conduct for all employees towards the HIV+ employees. They have a written workplace policy to protect the HIV infected persons to give them a sense of security. They ensure confidentiality of information No HIV testing of the candidates is done before employing them. Also, HIV testing should not be a part of the annual medical check-up Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) HIV/AIDS Workplace Programme While employing people one has to look at specific fitness and not general fitness. It means that the person must be fit to do the job he has been hired for. General fitness is to do with a person's overall health. It has nothing to do with his ability to perform a particular job. International Labour Organization (ILO)

Right to get full wages and all other benefits

There are several laws, which regulate employment. HIV+ persons are also entitled to get the benefit of all these laws: The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 This law says that every person working in any of the places specified by the Act must be paid wages which are not less than the minimum fixed by the government from time to time. The employer must pay at least such minimum wage. He can pay more than this wage but not less. This is applicable to all types of work- governmental, private, agriculture, construction, piecework, etc. An employer can be punished if he pays less than the minimum wage. No employer can say that he is paying less because the worker agreed to take less. The payment of minimum wages is compulsory. This law also says that no one can be made to work for more than eight hours in a day (with one hour for rest). Workers who work extra hours must be paid extra wages, which are called 'overtime' wages. The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 All women workers, if they have worked for 80 days in the previous year are entitled to get paid leave and some other benefits during their pregnancy, at childbirth and if they have a miscarriage. They are also entitled to some medical expenses.
48 Rights at the Workplace

The Factories Act, 1948 Factories must follow all the laws such as the laws for payment of wages, minimum wages. Factories also have to follow some special provisions for women, such as separate toilet facilities for women, creches where children of working women can be kept. Women cannot be made to work night shifts in factories. No child below the age of 14 years can be made to work in a factory. Protection from sexual harassment at workplace Women are often exposed to sexual remarks or behaviour at their place of work. This kind of behaviour is called "sexual harassment" and is illegal. Every woman has a right to be protected from sexual harassment at her workplace. All organizations, whether government, public or private must have a Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee.
The GUIDELINES and NORMS prescribed in matters pertaining to sexual harassment at workplace are as under : 1. Duty of the employer or other responsible persons in workplaces and other institutions : It shall be the duty of the employer or other responsible persons in workplaces or other institutions to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment by taking all steps required. Definition : For this purpose, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as : (a) physical contact and advances; (b) a demand or request for sexual favours; (c) sexually-coloured remarks; (d) showing pornography; (e) any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature. Where any of these acts is committed in circumstances whereunder the victim of such conduct has a reasonable apprehension that in relation to the victim's employment or work whether she is drawing salary, or honorarium or voluntary, whether in government, public or private enterprise such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem*** Preventive steps : All employers or persons in charge of workplace whether in the public or private sector should take the following steps to prevent sexual harassment. (a) Express prohibition of sexual harassment at the workplace should be notified, published and circulated in appropriate ways. (b) The rules/regulations of government and public sector bodies relating to conduct and discipline should include rules/regulations prohibiting sexual harassment and provide for appropriate penalties in such rules against the offender.



Rights at the Workplace


(c) As regards private employers, steps should be taken to include the aforesaid prohibitions in the standing orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. (d) Appropriate work conditions should be provided in respect of work, leisure, health and hygiene to further ensure that there is no hostile environment towards women at workplaces and no woman employee should have reasonable grounds to believe that she is disadvantaged in connection with her employment. 4. Criminal proceedings : Where such conduct amounts to a specific offence under the Indian Penal Code or under any other law, the employer shall initiate appropriate action in accordance with law by making a complaint with the appropriate authority. In particular, it should ensure that victims, or witnesses are not victimized or discriminated against while dealing with complaints of sexual harassment. The victims of sexual harassment should have the option to seek transfer of the perpetrator or their own transfer. 5. Disciplinary action : Where such conduct amounts to misconduct in employment as defined by the relevant service rules, appropriate disciplinary action should be initiated by the employer in accordance with those rules. 6. Complaint mechanism : Whether or not such conduct constitutes an offence under law or a breach of the service rules, an appropriate complaint mechanism should be created in the employer's organization for redress of the complaint made by the victim. Such complaint mechanism should ensure time-bound treatment of complaints. 7. Complaints Committee : The complaint mechanism, referred to in (6) above, should be adequate to provide, where necessary, a Complaints Committee, a special counsellor or other support service, including the maintenance of confidentiality. The Complaints Committee should be headed by a woman and not less than half of its members should be women. Further, to prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence from senior levels, such Complaints Committee should involve a third party, either NGO or other body who is familiar with the issue of sexual harassment. The Complaints Committee must make an annual report to the Government Department concerned of the complaints and action taken by them. The employers and person-in-charge will also report on the compliance with the aforesaid guidelines including on the reports of the Complaints Committee to the Government Department. 8. Workers' initiative : Employees should be allowed to raise issues of sexual harassment at workers' meeting and in other appropriate forum and it should be affirmatively discussed in employer-employee meetings. 9. Awareness : Awareness of the rights of female employees in this regard should be created in particular by prominently notifying the guidelines (and appropriate legislation when enacted on the subject) in a suitable manner. 10. Third-party harassment : Where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by any third party or outsider, the employer and person-in-charge will take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected person in terms of support and preventive action. 11. The Central/State Governments are requested to consider adopting suitable measures including legislation to ensure that the guidelines laid down by this order are also observed by the employers in private sector. Vishaka Vs. State Of Rajasthan And Others, 1997-(SC2)-GJX -1064 -SC


Rights at the Workplace

Forced sexual intercourse is a serious offence Assaulting a woman sexually ( verbally or physically) is an offence. Forcing a woman to have sexual intercourse without her consent, or making her have sexual intercourse by threatening her with some consequences is a serious offence called rape. A woman can complain to the police. She has a right to file a FIR (First Information Report) with the police. If the police do not listen, she can also go straight to the Magistrate with her complaint. If any of the laws relating to work place are not followed, a person can complain to the Labour Inspectors appointed by the government. Every district has a labour office.

Rights at the Workplace


Chapter 6

Rights Related To Health

Sumitra was suffering from high fever. When she went to a local government hospital, the doctor got many tests done. The tests indicated that she had typhoid. Since her fever was not going down, he also got the HIV test done without informing her or taking her consent. She tested HIV+. He immediately referred her to the 'Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)' department without giving her any treatment for typhoid. He said that anybody who is HIV+ has to be treated in that department only, whatever the illness may be. The doctor in the STI department also at first refused to treat her. She asked Sumitra to get out of the hospital as she would transmit the infection to Discrimination with HIV+ person in a hospital is against the law other patients. Sumitra's family approached a local NGO which helped her in getting admitted to the hospital. In the hospital, she was given a bed near the toilets. She was kept apart from other patients. The doctor put a mark of 'HIV+' on her file and on the board near her bed. No nurse was ready to come near her. The cleaning staff also did not clean near her bed. After much pressure from the NGOs, the doctor agreed to treat her. But he asked them to bring gloves and other precautionary items and even the medicines from the market.
This kind of discrimination is very common in our country. In fact, discrimination against HIV+ people is most evident in the healthcare sector. But all of us have a fundamental right to health, which means that it is the government's duty to see that every citizen of our country enjoys good health. The right remains the same for HIV+ persons. Apart from the Fundamental Rights, there are various specific laws and policies which we can be used to pressurize the government to ensure PLWHAs have access to satisfactory and adequatemedical facilities. Policies are made by the government to deal with a particular issue.
52 Rights Related to Health

National Health Policy-2002

The objectives of the policy are : To make the public health system accessible to everybody, To establish new medical services, To upgrade the existing hospitals and dispensaries.

Child Development Scheme and the Primary Health Care System.

Among their objectives are that : The government should take steps to control HIV infections. It should also make all the arrangements to provide supportive care to the PLWHAs. Preventive measures should be taken so that the HIV virus is not transmitted from mother to child. By using our Fundamental Right to Health and all these policies, we can pressurize the government to ensure that PLWHAs have access to satisfactory and adequate medical facilities. NACO is providing systematic care and treatment for HIV+ persons. But generally, they are being denied this right by the government agencies as well as by private doctors and hospitals. HIV+ persons have a right to demand that the government should : Ensure satisfactory and adequate medical facilities for PLWHAs. Ensure that treatment and medicines are cheaply and easily available. Ensure that there is no discrimination against or neglect of PLWHAs in government hospitals or other medical facilities. Ensure that the medical and paramedical personnel are properly trained and sensitised to deal with PLWHAs Ensure a healthy and disease-free environment so that PLWHAs do not get ill. Ensure that there are laws which prevent private doctors and hospitals from neglecting or discriminating against PLWHAs.
Rights Related to Health 53

Many of these things are already present in the law. Yet, we hear many stories about HIV+ persons being refused treatment. There are several reasons for this: PLWHAs do not know of the existing facilities and treatment that they are entitled to get, especially the government hospitals and clinics. Many people working in the healthcare sector also do not know about HIV/AIDS fully. There is a general scare about the illness and there are many misconceptions about it. Our medical facilities and systems are still not geared to handle a comparatively new and serious health issue like HIV/AIDS.

Are the healthcare workers at risk of getting HIV on the job ?

Rubina is a renowned gynaecologist. A patient came to her for pre-natal check up. She told Rubina that since she is HIV+, no doctor was ready to take up her case. Rubina did not know much about HIV/AIDS. So, she also refused to treat her patient. Also she was afraid that she would also get the HIV infection if she treated an HIV+ person. Were her fears correct?
No. The risk of health care workers getting HIV on the job is very low, especially if they carefully follow the universal precautions given by WHO. Casual, everyday contact with an HIV+ person does not expose health care workers or anyone else to HIV. For health care workers on the job, the main risk of HIV transmission is through accidental injuries from needles and other sharp instruments that may be contaminated with the virus. Even this risk is small. Scientists estimate that the risk of infection from a needle jab is less than 1 percent, a figure based on the findings of several studies of health care workers who received punctures from HIV-contaminated needles or were otherwise exposed to HIV-contaminated blood. Following universal precautions given by the WHO will protect the health care workers from getting many infections including HIV/AIDS.
54 Rights Related to Health

Universal Precautions for Prevention of Transmission of HIV and Other Blood Borne Infections Universal precautions are a set of precautions designed to prevent transmission of HIV, when providing first aid or health care. Under universal precautions, blood and certain body fluids of all patients are considered potentially infectious for HIV. They apply to blood, other body fluids containing visible blood, semen, and vaginal secretions. Universal precautions also apply to tissues and to the cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and amniotic fluids. All health care workers should routinely use appropriate barrier precautions to prevent skin and mucous membrane exposure during contact with any patient's blood or body fluids that require universal precautions. Gloves should be worn: for touching blood and body fluids requiring universal precautions, mucous membranes, or non intact skin of all patients, and for handling items or surfaces soiled with blood or body fluids to which universal precautions apply Gloves should be changed after contact with each patient. Hands and other skin surfaces should be washed immediately or as soon as patient safety permits if contaminated with blood or body fluids requiring universal precautions. Gloves should always be available to health care workers who wish to use them for phlebotomy. Gloves should be used when the health care worker has cuts, scratches, or other breaks in his/her skin. Masks and protective eyewear or face shields should be worn by health care workers to prevent exposure of mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes during procedures that are likely to generate droplets of blood or body fluids requiring universal precautions. Gowns or aprons should be worn during procedures that are likely to generate splashes of blood or body fluids requiring universal precautions All health care workers should take precautions to prevent injuries caused by needles, scalpels, and other sharp instruments or devices during procedures; when cleaning used instruments; during disposal of used needles; and when handling sharp instruments after procedures. To prevent needlestick injuries, needles should not be recapped by hand, purposely bent or broken by hand, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand. After they are used, disposable syringes and needles, scalpel blades, and other sharp items should be placed in puncture-resistant containers for disposal. The puncture-resistant containers should be located as close as practical to the use area. All reusable needles should be placed in a puncture-resistant container for transport to the reprocessing area. Pregnant health care workers are not known to be at greater risk of contracting HIV infection than are health care workers who are not pregnant; however, if a health care worker develops HIV infection during pregnancy, the infant is at risk of infection resulting from perinatal transmission. Because of this risk, pregnant health care workers should be especially familiar with, and strictly adhere to, precautions to minimize the risk of HIV transmission. Although universal precautions do not apply to human breast milk, gloves may be worn by health care workers in situations where exposures to breast milk might be frequent, e.g., in breast milk banking. World Health Organisation

Rights Related to Health


Do HIV+ persons have a right to treatment ?

Yes, the Medical Council of India prescribes rules to be followed by the healthcare sector when providing services to patients, including HIV+ persons. It says that : No doctor can refuse to treat a patient without any reason. He cannot refuse to treat a patient because he is afraid of getting the disease himself. He has no reason to be afraid of getting the infection if he is following the Universal Precautions. These rules apply to anyone working in a hospital.
Section 2.1: though a physician is not bound to treat each and every person asking his services, he should not only be ever ready to respond to the calls of the sick and the injured, but should be mindful of the high character of his mission and the responsibility he discharges in the cource of his professional dutiesno physician shall arbitrarily refuse treatment to a patienthowever for good reason,when a patient is suffering from an ailment which is not within the range of experience of the treating physician, the physician may refuse treatment and refer the patient to another physician. Section 5.2: when an epidemic occurs, a physician should not abandon his duty for fear of contracting the disease himself. Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002

The ART treatment is very expensive. Has the government done anything to make it accessible to more people?
Yes. NACO has issued guidelines which state how the ART treatment will be made available to patients. Its objective is to make it accessible to as many people as possible in a phased manner. Phase I has been implemented in April 2004 in 8 institutions. Six in of them are in states where there is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and two are in Delhi. The list of hospitals is given as Annexure I. In Phase II, the ART programme will be implemented in all govt. medical college hospitals in high prevalence States. This has started in a phased manner in 2005. In the States of Manipur and Nagaland, there are no medical colleges except RIMS, Imphal in State of Manipur. Therefore in these two states, this phase of the ART programme has to include district hospitals. The district teams for the ART delivery programme will be trained at RIMS in Manipur and District Naga Hospital, Kohima in Nagaland. In Phase III, Implementation of ART programme will include all district hospitals in the six high prevalence States. It is envisaged that the ART programme will be initiated in January, 2006.
56 Rights Related to Health

Disposal of Bio-Medical Waste in the hospitals

Ramu is a ward boy and his wife Geeta is an ayah in a hospital. They sell used IV fluid bottles and syringes from the hospital to a scrap collector. In another hospital, the doctors, after completing the surgery, wrap the amputated body parts in cotton and hand it over to the relatives for disposal. In yet another hospital, medical waste such as needles, blood bags, syringes and saline bottles are heaped in the open in a trash trolley in the hospital compound where the rag pickers pick it up. The same is reused by quacks or even poor drug addicts.
There is a risk of HIV transmission if the medical waste is not handled and disposed off properly. There are specific rules as to how they should be disposed off.
Rule 6: (1) Bio-medical waste shall not be mixed with other wastes. (5) No untreated bio-medical waste shall be kept stored beyond a period of 48 hours : Provided that if for any reason it becomes necessary to store the waste beyond such period, the authorised person must take permission of the prescribed authority and take measures to ensure that the waste does not adversely affect human health and the environment. SCHEDULE I, CATEGORIES OF BIO-MEDICAL WASTE Waste Category No. Category No.1 Category No 2 Waste Category (Type) Human Anatomical Waste (human tissues, organs, body parts) Waste sharps (needles, syringes, scalpels, blades, glass, etc. that may cause puncture and cuts. This includes both used and unused sharps) Solid Waste (Items contaminated with blood, and body fluids including Cotton, dressings, soilded plaster casts, linens, beddings, other material contaminated with blood) Treatment & Disposal (Option) incineration@/deep burial* disinfection (chemical treatment@@/auto laving/micro-waving and mutilation/shredding incineration autoclaving/microwaving

Category No 6

Bio-Medical Waste (Management And Handling) Rules, 1998.

Rights Related to Health


Right to Compensation from Hospitals if HIV contracted due to negligence of hospitals

Gayatri was pregnant. The doctor gave her some injections because she was weak. After delivery, she was told that she has become HIV+. The needle, which was used to inject her was infected. As a result, she got HIV. What can she do?
First of all, Gayatri must take all the proper precautions to keep her immune system strong. If required, she should get treatment for herself. We have talked about this earlier. She should also get her baby tested fort HIV. She can also ask for compensation from the hospital. Although money is not adequate compensation in such a case, but she can at least use the money to take better care of herself and her child. She can go to the Consumer Court and ask for compensation. What is a Consumer Court? Sometimes when we buy a product or a service from someone, we do not get full satisfaction. Sometimes we are cheated. Sometimes the product or the service causes us harm. In these situations, a person can go to the Consumer Court. A Consumer Court is situated in every district. In Gayatris case, the law has given her the right to ask for compensation from the doctor or the hospital. This is because she and her child contracted HIV because of the the doctors negligence.

Right to Compensation from Blood banks if HIV contracted due to their negligence
Sukumari had an accident. She was given blood taken from a nearby blood bank. After a few months, the tests revealed that she has become HIV+. The blood she was given was infected.
She can go to the Consumer Court and ask for compensation from the blood bank. This is because she contracted HIV because of the negligence of the blood bank.

Sukhmari will get compensation from blood bank

Rights Related to Health

Laws for Blood donation, collection and preservation In a remote town of Kerela, there is a small blood bank. No trained or skilled person is available at the blood band. The employees just collect the blood from the donors and directly send it to hospitals for transfusion. Again, in a remote area of Bihar, there is no facility of a blood bank. In the district hospital, the doctors just cross match the blood and directly transfuse it to the patients. Sundari is a professional blood donor. This means that very frequently, she "donates" blood and accepts money in return for it. In truth, she is selling her blood. The blood bank, hospital and Sundari are all acting wrongly. There are several laws, policies and guidelines issued by the Supreme Court for the collection and storage of blood. The blood banks must follow these to ensure that no infection passes through blood transfusions. 1. The Drugs And Cosmetics Act, 1945 This law lays down guidelines which blood banks have to follow. They cannot give infected blood to anyone. They must take proper care and precautions : All the blood banks must obtain licenses from the government. They must check the donated blood for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, C and Malaria. They must maintain high levels of hygiene for collection, storage, processing and distribution of blood. 2. National Blood Policy 2002 Its objective is to : 3. A Develop a system to ensure easy access to blood all over the country. Improve and upgrading the blood banking system. 1996 Supreme Court Judgement directed that : All blood banks must have a license from the government. They must upgrade their blood collection centres. They must have all the facilities of proper blood collection and storage. Professional donors cannot donate blood.

Rights Related to Health

In a case before Supreme Court, an organisation highlighted the serious deficiencies and shortcomings in the matter of collection, storage and supply of blood through the various blood centres operating in the country. It was prayed that an appropriate direction be issued directing the Union of India and the States and the Union Territories, to ensure that proper positive and concrete steps in a time-bound programme are immediately initiated for obviating the malpractices, malfunctioning and inadequacies of the blood banks all over the country. It also prayed to place before this Court a specific programme of action aimed at overcoming the deficiencies in the operation of blood banks. The court gave following directives: 1. The Union Government shall take steps to establish forthwith a National Council of Blood transfusion. 2. In consultation with the National Council, the State Government/Union Territory Administrations shall establish a State Council in each State/Union Territory. 3. The programmers and activities of the National Council and the State Council shall cover the entire range of services related to operation and requirements of blood banks including the launching of effective motivation campaigns through utilisation of all media for stimulating voluntary blood donations, launching programmes of blood donation in educational institutions, among the labour, industry and trade, establishments and organisations of various services including civic bodies, training of personnel in relation to all operations of blood collection, storage and utilisation, separation of blood groups, proper labelling, proper storage and transport, quality control and archiving system, cross-matching of blood between donors and recipients, separation and storage of components of blood, and all the basic essentials of the operations of blood banking. 4. The National Council shall undertake training programmes for training of technical personnel in various fields connected with the operation of blood banks. 5. The National Council shall establish an institution for conducting research in collection, processing, storage, distribution and transfusion of whole human blood and human blood components, manufacture of blood products and other allied fields. 6. The National Council shall take steps for starting special postgraduate courses in blood collection, processing, storage and transfusion and allied fields in various medical colleges and institutions in the country. 7. The Union Government and the Governments of the States and Union Territories should ensure that within a period of not more than one year all blood banks operating in the country are duly licensed and if a blood bank is found ill-equipped for being licensed, and remains unlicensed after the expiry of the period of one year, its operations should be rendered impossible through suitable legal action. 8. The Union Government and the Governments of the States and Union Territories shall take steps to discourage the prevalent system of professional donors so that the system of professional donors is completely eliminated within a period of not more than two years. 9. Necessary steps be taken to ensure that Drugs Inspectors duly trained in blood banking operations are posted in adequate numbers so as to ensure periodical checking of the operations of the blood banks throughout the country. 10. The Union Government should consider the advisability of enacting a separate legislation for regulating the collection, processing, storage, distribution and transportation of blood and the operation of the blood banks in the country. Common Cause v. Union of India 1996(1) SCC 753


Rights Related to Health

Can a woman ask for compensation from both the hospital and the blood bank at the same time?
Karen was admitted to a hospital, as she was severely anaemic. She was given blood at the hospital. the blood was brought by her relatives from a nearby government approved blood bank on the suggestion of doctors. It was marked HIV negative. After sometime, it was found out that she has become HIV+. The blood given to her was infected. She filed a case both on the blood bank and the hospital for compensation.
The court ruled that the blood bank had acted negligently. It also said that the hospital relied on the blood bank's report. It was not necessary for the hospital to cross check the report. It was the duty of the blood bank to check the blood properly. So the compensation was payable only by the blood bank.

J. Gopal son, was admitted in the hospital first for complaint of loose motions and then for fever and cough. Since the body was anaemic the doctor advised blood transfusion. As per the advise of the said doctor J. Gopal approached a Blood Bank. which gave them blood marked "H.I.V. I & II Negative". The hospital, after going through the reports furnished by the blood bank transfused the blood to his son who was then discharged from the hospital. However, there was no improvement in the condition of the boy. When they again went to the hospital, he was tested for HIV. He tested HIV positive. J. Gopal asked for compensation from both the blood bank and the hospital. The blood bank gave an incorrect report. The hospital without verifying the correctness of the report issued by blood bank transfused the blood to the patient, which resulted with the boy contacting HIV. The court held that as the Blood Bank has given the Donor Card negligently without examining properly the blood of the donor, it is deficiency in service on their part. So far as the hospital is concerned, they merely relied on the Donor Card issued by the Blood Bank. No further obligation is cast on the hospital to cross-check the correctness of the said report. Hence we cannot fasten any negligence on the their part. We, therefore, hold that there is no deficiency in service on the part of the Hospital. Under these circumstances we order that a sum of Rs. 1 lakh payable with interest at 12 per cent should be given as compensation to the child's parents by the blood bank. J. GOPAL v. NAGARJUNA BLOOD BANK, C.D. No. 2 of 1998, decided on January 31, 2003. ANDHRA PRADESH STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION, HYDERABAD

Rights Related to Health


Regulations and research ethics regarding testing of HIV/AIDS medicines or vaccines

A hospital was trying to develop a medicine to counter HIV. They conducted a test on ten HIV+ persons. But they did not take the permission from government. They also did not tell the patients that they were conducting an experiment on them. People learnt about it when the research reports were published in a paper. They had revealed the names of all the persons on whom the test were conducted. Various human rights violations have taken place in the above case. The Government has issued guidelines regarding tests conducted on humans: Before conducting any clinical tests, written permission must be obtained from the Drug Controller General of India, who is the main licensing and enforcing authority under the Drug and Cosmetics Act,1940. New medicines should be used or tests carried out on a human being only after taking his or her consent. The researcher should tell the volunteer all the risks involved beforehand. His or her identity should not be revealed in public. This would violate his Right to Confidentiality.
Rule 122DA(1): No clinical trial for a new drug can be conducted without the permission in writing from the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI). The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research on Human Subjects, 2000 Socially or economically weak persons should not be used to give benefits for more advantaged persons. The person on whom research is being done should be informed about the impact and risk of such research on him and others. Research can be done only after taking the consent from the subject after giving him all the information. The research subject should retain the right to abstain from further participation in the research irrespective of any legal or other obligation that may have been entered into by such human subjects. The identity and records of the persons involved in the research or experiment should, as far as possible, be kept confidential. Indian Council of Medical Research No person can be subjected to medical or scientific treatment without his consent. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Laws for protection against quacks and false claims of effective treatments
Kaveri is a homeopathic doctor. When she sees that there are many HIV+ people in her area, she starts practising as an allopathic doctor and prescribing the allopathic medicines for them. Saifuddin is a compounder with a private doctor in a city. He goes back to his village and starts "practising" as a doctor there.
62 Rights Related to Health

Both Kaveri and Saifuddin are committing a crime. They are called "quacks". There are various laws to curb the practice of quackery. 1. Only Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs) can practice medicine. 2. They can practice only in their area of expertise. 3. If a PLWHA has used the services of a quack and suffered as a consequence, she/he can claim compensation under the Consumer Protection Act,1986.
Section 15: (2) Save as provided in Section 25, no person other than a medical practioner enrolled on a State Medical Register(a) shall hold office as physician or surgeon or any other office (by whatever designation called) in Government or in any institution maintained by a local or other authority; (b) shall practice medicine in any State... (3) Any person who acts in contravention of any provision of sub section (2) shall be punished with a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both. The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 Section 17: (2) Save as provided in section 28, no person other than a practitioner of Indian medicine who possesses a recognised medical qualification and is enrolled on a State Register or the Central Register of Indian Medicine(a) shall hold office as Vaid, Siddha, Hakim or physician or any other office (by whatever designation called) in Government or in any institution maintained by a local or other authority; (b) shall practise Indian medicine in any State; (4) Any person who acts in contravention of any provision of sub-section (2) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both. The Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 Section 15: (2) No person, other than practitioner of Homoeopathy who possess a recognized medical qualification and is enrolled on a State Register or the Central Register of Homoeopathy(a) shall hold office as Homoeopathic physician or any other office (by whatever designation called) in Government or in any institution maintained by a local or other authority; (b) shall practice Homoeopathy in any state; The Homeopathic Central Council Act, 1973

Rights Related to Health


Sriniwasan was a homeopathic doctor. A patient came to him to whom he prescribed allopathic medicines. The patient died. When the case went to the court, it held that "A person who does not have the knowledge of a particular system of medicine but practices in that system is a quack." The spouse of the deceased patient was awarded Rs. 3 lakhs as compensation. Poonam Verma Vs. Ashwin Patel (1996) 4 SCC 332

Prem is HIV+. She sees an advertisement which says that a company, X pharmaceuticals has discovered the cure for AIDS and the total costs of the medicines would be Rs. 20,000. Prem is very happy and buys the medicine.But after using it she realises that her disease has not been cured. What should she do now? Aghori is a tantrik who claims that he has prepared a potion which would cure persons who are HIV+.
Both Aghori and X pharmaceuticals are acting illegally. 1. Advertisements which mislead or make false claims about a drug are banned. 2. Such people can also be booked for the offence of cheating.
Section 4: Prohibition of misleading advertisements relating to drugs. Subject to the provisions of this Act, no person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement relating to a drug if the advertisement contains any matter which(a) Directly or indirectly gives a false impression regarding the true character of the drug; or (b) Makes a false claim for the drug; or (c) Is otherwise false or misleading in any material particular.

Section 5: Prohibition of advertisement of magic remedies for treatment of certain diseases and disorders. No person carrying on or purporting to carry on the profession of administering magic remedies shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement referring to any magic remedy which directly or indirectly claims to be efficacious for any of the purposes specified in Section 3. The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954


Rights Related to Health

Chapter 7

Trafficking, Commercial Sex Work and HIV/AIDS

Many women have no means of subsistence and take to commercial sex as a way to earn money. Commercial sex work is prohibited under our laws in various situations. But since it is known that it is a manifestation of existing social and economic factors in the society, the government tries to help women move away from this profession and rehabilitate them. Most women are either lured or forced into this profession by those who are running this kind of business.

Sundari is a 16 year old girl who was brought to India from Nepal on the pretext of getting her a job in a factory. She was sold to a brothel owner and forced into commercial sex work.
This is an offence and any such person who procures or forces any girl into such work can be punished. These women are in a very vulnerable position and are exploited by their clients, by persons who run brothels as well as by the police and other authorities. They feel that they have no protection under the law because theirs is an illegal profession.
Section 5: (1) Any person who(a) procures or attempts to procure a person, whether with or without his consent, for the purposes of prostitution; or (b) induces a person to go from any place with the intent that he may for the purpose of prostitution become the inmate of, or frequent, a brothel, or (c) takes or attempts to take a person, or causes a person to be taken, from one place to another with the view to carrying on or being brought up to carry on prostitution, or (d) Causes or induces a person to carry on prostitution, Shall be punishable on conviction with rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than 3 years and not more than 7 years and also with fine which may extend to 2 thousand rupees and if any offence under this subsection is committed against the will of any person, the punishment for imprisonment for a term of 7 years shall extent to for a tem of 14 years Provided that if the person in respect of whom an offence committed under this subsection,(i) is a child, the punishment provided under this subsection shall extend to rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than 7 years but may extend to life, and (ii) and is a minor, the punishment provided under this subsection shall extend to rigorous imprisonment for a term of not less than 7 years and not more than 14 years (iii) An offence under this section shall be triable(a) in the place from which a person is procured, induced to go, taken or caused to be taken or from which an attempt to procure or take such person is made, or (b) in the place to which he may have gone as a result of the inducement or to which he is taken or caused to be taken or an attempt to take him is made The Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956 (ITPA) Trafficking, Commercial Sex Work and HIV/AIDS 65

Sections 339: Whoever voluntarily obstructs any person so as to prevent that person from proceeding in any direction in which that person has a right to proceed, is wrongfully to restrain that person. Section 340: whoever wrongfully restrains any person in such a manner as to prevent that person from proceeding beyond certain circumscribing limits, is said "wrongfully to confine" that person. Sections 361: Whoever takes or entices any minor under 16 years of age, if male, or under 18 years of age if a female, or any person of unsound mind, out of the keeping of the lawful guardian of such a minor or person of unsound mind, without the consent of such guardian, is said to kidnap such minor or person from lawful guardianship. Section 362: whoever by force compels, or by any deceitful means induces any person to go from any place, is said to abduct that person. Section 366A: whoever, by ay means whatsoever, induces any minor girl under the age of 18 years to go from any place or to do any act with intent that such girl may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine. Section 372: Whoever sells, lets to hire, or otherwise disposes of any person under the age of eighteen years with intent that such person shall at any age be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will at any age be employed or used for any such purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. For the purpose of this section 'illicit intercourse' means sexual intercourse between persons not united by marriage, or by any union or tie which, though not amounting to a marriage, is recognised by the personal law or custom of the community to which they belong or, where they belong to different communities, of both such communities, as constituting between them a quasi marital relation. Section 373: Whoever buys, hires or otherwise obtains possession of any person under the age of eighteen years with intent that such person shall at any age be employed or used for the purpose of prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any unlawful and immoral purpose, or knowing it to be likely that such person will at any age be employed or used for any such purposes, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. The Indian Penal Code, 1860

Since sexual transmission is the most common route of HIV transmission, commercial sex work has become one of the sectors in which chances of HIV transmission are very high.

Shyamala is a commercial sex worker and knows that she is exposed to HIV/ AIDS. She asks her clients to use condoms. One of her clients refuses. So Shyamala refuses to have sex with him and asks him to leave. However, he tells her that this is her work and since he has already paid the brothel owner some money, he will not go. He forces her to have sex with him.
Sexual intercourse with any woman without her consent is an offence called 'rape'. A man can be punished for rape with imprisonment for a minimum of seven years and a maximum term of life imprisonment.
66 Trafficking, Commercial Sex Work and HIV/AIDS

When Shyamala went to the police to complain, they refused to file an FIR against the man saying that because she is a commercial sex worker, she cannot complain of rape.
This is not correct. Sexual intercourse even with a commercial sex worker without her consent would still be considered as rape.

The client also said that since he had paid the brothel owner he was entitled to have sex with Shyamala. When Shyamala refused, the brothel owner told him to go ahead and nobody would stop him.
No one can accept money on behalf of a woman and force her to have sex with someone. The brothel owner will also be guilty of the offence of rape because she abetted him in committing the rape. 'Abetting' means to help someone in doing something. If anyone abets a crime, she or he is also considered to have committed the same crime and will be punished.

Someone advised Shyamala to take her complaint to the Magistrate. He accepted her complaint and asked the police to investigate the matter. The case was taken up in the court. The lawyer representing the man who had raped Shyamala said that Shyamala's evidence did not have any value as she was a commercial sex worker and a woman of doubtful character.
In the offence of rape, the character of a woman is not a relevant consideration. Even though Shyamala was a commercial sex worker, the Court gave weight to her statements and found the man guilty of rape. Women who are in commercial sex work are at a very high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. So they must take certain steps to prevent themselves from falling ill : Insist that clients use condoms. Refuse sex without safety measures. Form or be part of associations and unions to compel brothel owners to take measures for their health and safety Apply to Magistrates under the law for rehabilitation, to be kept in a protective home or to be given care and protection
Trafficking, Commercial Sex Work and HIV/AIDS

Commercial Sex Workers should always insist on the use of condoms


The local police often trouble and harass sex workers. They constantly threaten them with legal action because commercial sex work is illegal. Sometimes they conduct raids and take all the women to the police station. They ill-treat and beat the women and even ask them for sex. Nowadays, on the pretext of preventing the spread of AIDS, sex workers are rounded up and taken away.
Many aspects of commercial sex work such as buying, selling, procuring, soliciting in public places are offences under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act,1956. The Government runs several institutions for rehabilitation of such persons so that they can move away from this profession. Government also takes special steps to safeguard the health of such persons. Sometimes, the powers of the government to intervene in the lives of such persons are misused by the police and other agencies on the pretext of protecting the victims of the profession. But we must ensure that in the name of 'protection against exploitation', other fundamental rights like the right to personal liberty and dignity are not taken away. The law has clearly specified the manner in which the police and magistrates must deal with the commercial sex workers: Although the police can arrest without a warrant such arrest can be made only by a Special Police Officer, or under his guidance or direction or subject to his prior approval. Any other Police officer above the rank of Sub-Inspector specially authorised by the Special Police Officer can, in some circumstances, arrest without a warrant but must immediately report all the circumstances of arrest to the Special Police Officer. Search without warrant can be made but only if undue delay will be caused. A Special Police Officer must be accompanied by two women police officers. If no woman police officer is available, the search should be carried out in the presence of a lady member of a recognized welfare institution or organization. Before the search, two respectable inhabitants of the locality must be present, one of whom must be a woman, but she can be from another locality. All persons in the premises to be searched can be removed from there by police. The Police must produce the arrested persons immediately before the concerned Magistrate. Medical examination of the person produced is compulsory for determination of age and sexual abuse. The Magistrate will order custody in a safe place, but he cannot keep them there for more than ten days.
68 Trafficking, Commercial Sex Work and HIV/AIDS

The Magistrate may send back the arrested person to her parents, guardian or husband if found capable and genuine. The Magistrate should also keep in mind that such return should not be likely to cause harm. The sex worker can be put under the supervision of a probation officer. If the arrested sex worker is a child, she will be proceeded against under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,2000. The Magistrate can send a person to a protective home, correctional home or place her under the supervision of a person appointed by him. A commercial sex worker is rescued by the police and is brought before a magistrate. She is tested for various sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. Is this legal? Yes. It is compulsory under the law for rescued commercial sex worker who has been produced before a magistrate to undergo a medical check up. The purpose of the check up is : (i) to determine her age (ii) to check the presence of any injuries (iii) to check whether any sexually transmitted disease is present. This is to ensure that the sex worker gets early care and treatment for the diseases and injuries, if any.
Section 15(5A): Any person who is produced before a Magistrate under sub-section (5), shall be examined by a registered medical practitioner for the purposes of determination of the age of such person, or for the detection of any injuries as a result of sexual abuse or for the presence of any sexually transmitted disease. The Immoral Traffic Prevention Act,1956

Once a rescued sex worker finds out that she is HIV+, what can she do ? She has a right to see her report. If she finds out that she is HIV+, she will be taken to a doctor and her treatment will be started. If this is not done she must make a complaint to the person appointed by the Magistrate, or the person in-charge of the protective home. If no measures are taken for her treatment she can approach the High Court through someone or write a letter to the Judges stating her condition. They will order the institution to take steps for her welfare.
Trafficking, Commercial Sex Work and HIV/AIDS 69

Chapter 8

Insurance and HIV/AIDS

An insurance policy provides security. The insurance company agrees to secure you against hurt, loss or damage due to a specified event. It gives you the security that if a certain event happens, you will have the money required for it. When you get an insurance policy, you pay a certain amount every year, called a premium. This is your investment. Then, after the time mentioned in the policy comes to an end or on the occurrence of the specified event, the policy matures. The insured person gets the money alongwith the interest and also the other additional facilities. There are two kind of insurance (i) Life Insurance (ii) General Insurance such as insurance for health, against accidents, theft, insurance for business, insurance after retirement etc. In any kind of insurance, the amount of premium depends upon: the age of the person getting insured, the number of years for which the insurance is being taken, sum for which the person is getting insured. Both government and private companies are involved in the insurance sector these days. A person can take an insurance policy from any of them.

Who can take out an insurance policy?

As mentioned earlier, there are different kinds of insurance policies. Similarly there are conditions as to who can take out a particular policy. For example, most of the medical claim policies are available to people between the age of 5 to 80 years.

Can an HIV+ person also take an insurance policy?

Yes, she can take out policies against accidents, theft, insurance for business, insurance after retirement etc. But she cannot take out a life insurance or a medical insurance policy. Till a few years ago, life threatening disease like cancer were also not covered by these two kinds of insurance policies. But today cancer is covered provided you are willing to pay a higher premium. But HIV/AIDS is still not covered. Whether a particular policy covers an HIV+ person or not is always mentioned in the proposal form for the policy.
70 Insurance and HIV/AIDS

Gurleen's brother had a life insurance policy. But after his death, the company refused to give anything to his family. They said that as he has died of AIDS, the policy had become null and void. The company cannot do this. Once a policy has been taken out after completing all the formalities truthfully, the company cannot refuse to pay the money. There are various cases of this kind. The insurance companies discriminate a lot against HIV+ persons. Therefore it is very important to keep in mind a few points before taking out any policy. 1. Insurance is a contract between the insurer and the insured. In any kind of contract there are terms and conditions to which both the parties agree and then the contract becomes valid and binding. If either party violates any condition, the agreement becomes void. 2. In an insurance policy it is the duty of the insurance company to spell out clearly the terms and conditions of the policyin the proposal form itself.
Section 3: , a prospectus of any insurance product shall clearly state the scope of benefits, the extent of insurance cover and in an explicit manner explain the warranties, exceptions and conditions of the insurance cover and in case of life insurance, whether the product is participating ( with profits) or non- participating ( without profits). IRDA (Protection of Policyholders' Interests) Regulations, 2002 Section 4(3): In filling the form of proposal, the prospect is to be guided by the provisions of section 45 of the Act. Any proposal form seeking information for grant of life may prominently state therein the requirements of Section 45 of the Act. IRDA (Protection of Policyholders' Interests) Regulations, 2002

3. It is the duty of the insurance company to tell the person being insured what are the various medical tests she will have to undergo before taking out the policy. Thus, if an HIV test is to be done, the insurance agent should inform her that she must get it done before the policy can be issued. If he does not do so, the company cannot refuse to pay on the ground that the test was not done.
Shri Radhey Shyam Bajoria, took a life insurance policy from an LIC. At the time of maturity, LIC refused to give the payment. According to them, the complainant did not comply with essential requirements of Special Medical Analysis-12 (SMA-12), which contains HIV testing. SMA-12 is an essential requirement of the policies taken under Ashadeep Policy Scheme which the proponent himself chose to take but did not submit the SMA-12. A bare perusal of the copies of the proposal acknowledgement as well as documents for proposal for insurance on own life show that there is no whisper on it about the essential requirement and submission of SMA-12. The complainant is not expected to be kept in the dark. It is the paramount duties of the opposite parties to see that all necessary compliance are to be properly informed. Therefore the insurance company will have to comply with the policy. Also they will have to submit a fee of Rs. 10,000 as fine. Life Insurance Corporation Of India, Appellant V. Radhey Shyam Bajoria, Respondent2004-(002)-CPJ -0789 -SCMEG

Insurance and HIV/AIDS


4. But the policy can be terminated by the insurance company if the insured person has fraudulently concealed or wrongly stated some facts about his or her health. Nutan's husband, Ravi takes out a life insurance policy of Rs. 25,000. After 2 years, he dies on account of AIDS. When Nutan makes a claim, the insurance company rejects it. She takes the matter to the Consumer Court. The court holds that as Ravi had known of his illness but had not disclosed it to the company, the contract becomes null and void.
Section 45 : No policy of life insurance effected before the commencement of this act shall after the expiry of two years from the date of commencement of this Act and no policy of life insurance effected after coming into force of this Act shall after the expiry of two years from the date on which it was effected, be called in question by an insurer on the ground that a statement made in the proposal for insurance or in any report of a medical officer, or refree, or friend of the insured or in any other document leading to the issue of the policy, was inaccurate or false, unless the insurer shows that such statement was on a material matter or suppressed facts which it was material to disclose and that it was fraudulently made by the policy holder and that the ;policy holder knew at the time of making it that the statement was false or that it suppressed facts which it was material to disclose: Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the insurer from calling for proof of age at any time if he is entitled to do so, and no policy shall be deemed to be called in question merely because the terms of the policy are adjusted on subsequent proof that the age of the life insured was incorrectly stated in the proposal. The Insurance Act,1938 Jamail Singh had taken Life Insurance Policy from the appellant Corporation in the sum of Rs. 25,000/- with double accident benefit from August 22,1991. He died on January 18, 1994 on account of AIDS. The claim on the basis of the policy was lodged by the complainant, widow of Jamail Singh, deceased. The same having been repudiated, the complainant approached District Forum. Certificate of hospital treatment as issued by P .G.I., Chandigarh was submitted by the insurance company. Jamail Singh was stated to be HIV+ since 1991. The court held that it is such a case where deceased knew about his ailment but has not disclosed it at the time of taking the policy. The intention appears to be to defraud the Corporation by taking such policy and concealing material facts about his health. Therefore the contract stands cancelled. Life Insurance Corporation of India, Appellant V. Smt. Naranjan Kaur, Respondent. 1999 -0464 -SCPUN

5. If the insurance company claims that the insured person suppressed any fact, the company will have to prove it.
Section 4(4) : the onus of proof shall rest with the insurer in respect of any information not so recorded, where the insurer claims that the proposer suppressed any material information or provided misleading or false information on any matter material to the grant of the cover IRDA (Protection of Policyholders' Interests) Regulations, 2002


Insurance and HIV/AIDS

Is there any insurance scheme which provides medical benefits to the PLWHAs?
Yes. Our government has provided the Employee State Insurance (ESI) Scheme as a social security measure. This scheme also covers PLWHAs. The ESI scheme is a social insurance scheme devised by the government to protect the interest of workers. The scheme provides benefits to employees and their families in case of sickness, injury, maternity, disablement and death. In this insurance scheme, the employee, the employer and the government all contribute to make a resource pool. Who can avail of the benefits of ESI ? Kavita worked in a matchstick factory. The factory comprised of 30 other labourers.

Sally works in a utensil-making factory. 15 workers are working in the factory besides her. Kuldeep works in a restaurant as cook. Along with her there are 22 other workers working in the restaurant. Reshma worked in an apple-packing factory, which is a seasonal factory. It means that it only works for few months in a year. Are all the above-mentioned factories covered under ESI Scheme?
Kavita, Sally and Kudeep's factories would be covered under this Act. But Reshma's factory would not be covered. The insurance covers the factories and establishments mentioned below. It is mandatory for all of them to get ESI insurance for their employees. All non-seasonal factories, if the factory uses electricity and more than 10 persons are working there regularly. Otherwise at least 20 persons must work there regularly. Government run factories fulfilling the above conditions are also included. However, the State or the Central government can exclude their factories from the scope of this scheme as they provide other social security measures. Most of the state governments have extended the scope of this scheme to establishments such as shops, hotels, restaurants, cinemas, preview theatres, motor transport undertakings and newspaper establishments' etc., employing 20 or more persons. Those employees who earn more than Rs.7500/- per month are not covered by this scheme. Note: Employees' earning upto Rs. 50/- a day as wages do not have to pay their part of contribution.
Insurance and HIV/AIDS 73

Section 1: (4) It shall apply, in the first instance, to all factories( including factories belonging to the government) other than the seasonal factories*** (5) the appropriate government may extend the provisions of this Act or any of them to other establishemnt or class of establishemtns, industrial, commercial, agricultural or otherwise Section 38: *** all employees in factories or establishments to which this Act applies shall be insured in the manner provided by this Act. The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 Section 50: Wage Limit for Coverage of employee under the Act : The wage limit for coverage of an employee under sub- clause (b) of clause (9) of section 2 of the Act shall be [seven thousand and five hundred] rupees a month: Provided that an employee whose wages (excluding remuneration for overtime work) exceed [seven thousand and five hundred ] rupees a month at any time after and not before the beginning of the contribution period, shall continue to be an employee until the end of that period.] Section 51: Exemption from payment of employee's contribution : The average daily wages during a wage period for exemption from payment of employee's contribution under section 42 shall be up to and inclusive of Rupees fifty. The Employees State (Central) Rules, 1950

What benefits are available under ESI, but not under other insurance schemes? 1. As mentioned earlier, under ESI the contribution is not made only by the insured person but by the employer and the government also 2. All the benefits are available to HIV+ persons also. 3. The benefits available to the person insured are : Sickness Benefit (SB) i Extended sickness Benefit (ESB) ii Enhanced Sickness Benefit Medical Benefit Maternity Benefit (MB) Disablement Benefit i Temporary disablement benefit (TDB) ii Permanent disablement benefit (PDB) Dependents Benefit Funeral Expenses

The insured person will get both cash and medical benefits under ESI scheme

Insurance and HIV/AIDS

Under the medical benefit, employees get medical facilities for self and dependants. Under the other benefits, they get cash benefits in the event of specified contingencies resulting in loss of wages or earning capacity.
Section 46: Benefits. (I) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the insured persons, their dependants or the persons hereinafter mentioned, as the case may be, shall be entitled to the following benefits, namely: (a) periodical payments to any insured person in case of his sickness certified by a duly appointed medical practitioner [or by any other person, possessing such qualifications and experience as the Corporation may, by regulations, specify in this behalf] (hereinafter referred to as sickness benefit); (b) periodical payments to an insured woman in case of confinement or miscarriage or sickness arising out of pregnancy, confinement, premature birth of child or miscarriage, such woman being certified to be eligible for such payments by an authority specified in this behalf by the regulations (hereinafter referred to as maternity benefit); (c) periodical payments to an insured person suffering from disablement as a result of an employment injury sustained as an employee under this Act and certified to be eligible for such payments by an authority specified in this behalf by the regulations (hereinafter referred to as disablement benefit);

(d) periodical payments to such dependants of an insured person who dies as a result of an employment injury sustained as an employee under this Act, as are entitled to compensation under this Act (hereinafter referred to as dependants benefit); (e) (f) medical treatment for and attendance on insured persons (hereinafter referred to as medical benefit); (and) payment to the eldest surviving member of the family of an insured person who has died, towards the expenditure on the funeral of the deceased insured person, or, where the insured person did not have a family or was not living with his family at the time of his death, to the person who actually incurs the expenditure on the funeral of the deceased insured person (to be known as (funeral expenses)*** The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948

Sickness Benefit
If a person is sick and he remains absent from work due to such sickness, he or she would get periodical cash payments. He would get roughly 50% of the average daily wages and can avail of this benefit for a maximum of 91 days in one year. The sickness must be certified by a duly appointed doctor. Extended Sickness Benefit (ESB) Sometimes persons suffer from long-term diseases and cannot go back to work after 91 days. Hence, a provision for paying Sickness Benefit for an extended period (Extended Sickness Benefit) of upto 2 years has also been made. One of the long-term diseases for which ESB is payable, is HIV/AIDS.
Insurance and HIV/AIDS 75

Medical Benefit
The ESI Corporation have set up hospitals and dispensaries for providing medical care to the insured persons. The Scheme provides for full medical care in the form of medical attendance, treatment, drugs and injections, specialist consultation and hospitalization.
Section 56: Medical benefit (1) An insured person or (where such medical benefit is extended to his family) a member of his family whose condition requires medical treatment and attendance shall be entitled to receive medical benefit. (2) Such medical benefit may be given either in the form of out-patient treatment and attendance in a hospital or dispensary, clinic or other institution or by visits to the home of the insured person or treatment as inpatient in a hospital or other institution. (3) A person shall be entitled to medical benefit during any (period) for which contributions are payable in respect of him or in which he is qualified to claim sickness benefit or maternity benefit [or is in receipt of such disablement benefit as does not disentitle him to medical benefit for such period and of such nature as may be provided under the regulations; Provided that a person in respect of whom contribution ceases to be payable under this Act may be allowed medical benefit for such period and of such nature as may be provided under the regulations; Provided further that an insured person who ceases to be in insurable employment on account of permanent disablement shall continue, subject to payment of contribution on such other conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government to receive medical benefit till the date on which he would have vacated the employment on attaining the age of superannuation had he not sustained such permanent disablement;*** The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948

Medical Benefit during Extended Sickness Benefit Since ART is the kind of treatment which has to continue lifelong once it has started, ESI has kept the special provision for PLWHAs. Even when her/his contribution ceases to be payable, her/his treatment would continue in the ESI hospital. Treatment of any Oppurtunistic Infection would also continue.

Maternity Benefit
A woman worker who is pregnant, and is not able to come for work, will be entitled to get her average daily wages for a period of 12 weeks (84 days). She cannot take more than six weeks leave before her confinement due to labour or delivery. If she is not able to come due to miscarriage or Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) she will get her average daily wages for a period of 6 weeks (42 days) from the date following miscarriage or MTP.
76 Insurance and HIV/AIDS

If she falls sick due to her pregnancy, or premature birth of the baby, she will get her average daily wages for a period not exceeding one month.

Disablement Benefit
Temporary disablement benefit (TDB) Permanent disablement benefit (PDB) If a person becomes disabled, either temporarily or permanently due to an injury sustained in the course of employment, she/he will get cash benefits to sustain herself/himself.

Dependents Benefit
If a person dies due to an injury sustained in the course of employment, his dependents are entitled to get periodical cash benefits.

Funeral Expenses
If a person dies due to an injury sustained in the course of employment, his family would get payment towards funeral expenses.

Can the employer dismiss an employee who is HIV+ or who is suffering from AIDS?
There are Supreme Court judgements and many international guidelines which say that an employee cannot be removed from the job only because she/he is HIV+. But there are certain sections in the ESI Act which say that in the case of certain diseases, the employer can discharge an employee. AIDS is one such disease. Under the Act if the terms of his employment allow, the employer can discharge an employee who has been under medical treatment for AIDS for a continuos period of 18 months or more.
Section 98: Discharge, etc., of employee under certain conditions If the conditions of service of any employee so allow, an employer may discharge or reduce on due notice an employee (iii) who has been under medical treatment for any of the following diseases, duly certified in accordance with these regulations, after the employee has been under such treatment for a continuous period of 18 months or more IAIDS The Employees State Insurance (General) Regulations, 1950 77

Insurance and HIV/AIDS

Chapter 9

Tools for Advocacy

There are various national and international policies relating to the protection of rights of PLWHAs. They can be used to pressurize the government to ensure that PLWHAs are treated equally fairly and receive satisfactory treatment and support. National organisations

National AIDS Control Organization (NACO)

What is NACO? NACO is the main government organization, which makes policies and implements programs for prevention and control of HIV. It has come out with a National AIDS Control and Prevention Policy (NACP). At present the third phase of NACP is being designed through a process of consultation and consensus with a wide range of stakeholders. National AIDS Control and Prevention Policy Objectives and Goals The general objective of the policy is to prevent the epidemic from spreading further. It aims at reducing: (I.)the impact of the epidemic upon people already infected (II) upon the health and socio-economic status of the general population at all levels. The policy aims at attaining zero-level of infections by 2007. Recommendations to the Government 1. For Advocacy and Social Mobilisation In educational institutions AIDS education should be imparted through curricular and extracurricular approach. Non-student youth should also be addressed through the large network of youth organizations, sports clubs, National Service Scheme (NSS) and Nehru Yuvak Kendras spread across the country. AIDS prevention education should also be integrated into the programmes of workers education and schemes of social development. The electronic media should evolve a well-coordinated and gender sensitive media policy for dissemination of information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS. The newspapers, magazines and other print media should be used for conducting campaigns for social mobilisation to generate awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention and for sharing information and expertise.
78 Tools for Advocacy

The corporate sector should be encouraged to undertake AIDS prevention activities including provision of services for their employees both at the workplace and outside as a part of their social responsibility. Industrial units in organised sector should evolve workplace intervention programmes for industrial workers which should have all the important components of the prevention and control strategy for HIV/AIDS. The large network of ESI hospitals and dispensaries under the ESI Scheme should effectively be used to spread the message of prevention of the infection and providing service to HIV/AIDS infected workers and their families. 2. Participation of Non Government Organisations (NGOs)/ Community Based Organisations (CBOs) The Government commits itself to large-scale involvement and participation of NGOs/CBOs in NACP in the following manner: Involvement of NGOs at the policy making level through regular interaction and adequate representation in national and State level bodies. Extending their participation to new areas like provision of medical facilities including home-based care, opening of community care centres, etc. apart from the conventional areas of awareness, counselling and targeted interventions among risk groups. Greater efforts to undertake training and capacity building programmes for the NGOs to empower them to take up these additional responsibilities. Periodical updating of guidelines issued by NACO relating to involvement of NGOs, to facilitate greater participation of NGOs and for better accountability. Encourage networking among NGOs to avoid duplication of efforts. 3. Control of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) STDs among women though highly prevalent, are suppressed because of the social stigma attached to the infection. It has therefore been decided to integrate services for treatment of Reproductive Tract Infections and STDs at all levels of health care. 4. Use of Condoms as a HIV/AIDS Prevention Measure Hospitals, STD clinics, counselling centres, nursing homes and even private clinics of medical practitioners should have adequate supply of condoms for use of the patients. General availability of condoms in the community drug stores, important road and railway junctions, public places, luxury hotels, etc. should also be ensured. While ensuring availability of condoms, it is equally necessary to see that the quality and reliability is also guaranteed.
Tools for Advocacy 79

5. HIV testing The Government feels that there is no public health rationale for mandatory testing of a person for HIV/AIDS. HIV testing carried out on a voluntary basis with appropriate pre-test and post-test counseling is considered to be a better strategy and is in line with the WHO guidelines on HIV testing. Government of India has earlier issued a comprehensive HIV testing policy and the following issues are reiterated here: No individual should be made to undergo mandatory testing for HIV. No mandatory HIV testing should be imposed as a precondition for employment or for providing health care facilities during employment. However, in the case of Armed Forces, before employment, HIVscreening may be carried out voluntarily with pre-test and post-test counselling and the results may be kept confidential. Adequate voluntary testing facilities with pre-test and post-test counselling should be made available throughout the country in a phased manner. There should be at least one HIV testing centre in each district in the country with proper counselling facilities. In case a person wants to get his HIV status verified through testing, all necessary facilities should be given to that person and results should be kept strictly confidential. Such results should be given out to the person and with his consent to the members of his family. Disclosure of the HIV status to the spouse or sexual partner of the person should invariably be done by the attending physician with proper counselling. However, the person should also be encouraged to share this information with the family for getting proper home-based care and emotional support from the family members. In case of marriage, if one of the partners insists on a test to check the HIV status of the other partner, such tests should be carried out by the contracting party to the satisfaction of the person concerned.

6. Counseling Counselling services for suspected cases of HIV infection and for PLWHAs should be expanded to increase their reach to those who need them. All hospitals, HIV testing centres, blood banks, STDs Clinics and organisations formed by PLWHAs should have counselling services manned by trained and professional counsellors.


Tools for Advocacy

7. Care and support for PLWHAs Apart from providing counselling before declaring the HIV status of a person, the Government would try to ensure the social and economic well being of such person by ensuring (a) protection of his/her right to privacy and other human rights, and (b) proper care and support in the hospitals and in the community. The HIV+ person should be guaranteed equal rights to education and employment as other members of the society. The HIV status of a person should be kept confidential and should not in any way affect the rights of the person to employment, his or her position at the workplace, marital relationship and other fundamental rights. HIV+ women should have complete choice in making decisions regarding pregnancy and childbirth. There should be no forcible abortion or even sterilisation on the ground of the HIV status of a woman. Proper counselling should be given to a pregnant woman for enabling her to take an appropriate decision either to go ahead with or terminate the pregnancy. The prophylaxis for prevention of mother to child transmission will be introduced to cover all infected mothers as a part of the National programme. This facility will be entirely voluntary on the basis of informed consent. The Government would actively encourage and support formation of self-help groups among the HIV-infected persons for group counselling, home care and support of their members and their families. Social action through participation of NGOs would be encouraged and supported for this purpose. As regards the treatment care and support for PLWHAs, the policy is to build up a continuum of comprehensive care comprising ofclinical management, nursing care, access to drugs, counselling and psychosocial support through home-based care without any discrimination. Clinical management of HIV/AIDS requires strict enforcement of biosafety and infection control measures in the hospitals as per the universal safety precaution guidelines. Treatment of AIDS cases do not require any specialised equipment than what is necessary for treatment of the opportunistic infections arising out of HIV/AIDS. Government would ensure adequate supply of essential drugs for treatment of these opportunistic infections. Adequate facilities would also be created for proper disposal of plastic and other wastes and injecting needles used for treatment of HIV-infected persons. 8. HIV and Injecting Drug Use The most important strategy to combat the problem of intravenous drug use and its serious consequences in transmission of HIV/AIDS would be the 'Harm Minimisation' approach which is now being accepted worldwide as an effective preventive mechanism.
Tools for Advocacy 81

Harm minimization aims to reduce the adverse social and economic consequences and health hazards by minimizing or reducing the intake of drugs leading to gradual elimination of their use. Harm minimization in the context of Intravenous (IV) drug use would require not only appropriate health education, improvement in treatment services but in most practical terms, providing of bleach powder, syringes and needles for the safety of the individual. An appropriate Needle Exchange Programme with proper supervision by trained doctors/ counsellors, etc. will be required.

9. Safety of blood and blood products To minimise the risk of transmission of HIV infection through blood and blood products, The Government has taken a series of measures: The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules provide mandatory testing of blood for HIV in addition to other blood-transmissible diseases namely Hepatitis B Surface Antigen, Hepatitis 'C', Malaria and Syphilis. Under Supreme Court directives, licensing of blood banks is mandatory and operation of unlicensed blood banks has been banned. Government would ensure establishment of adequate blood banking services at the State/District levels including provision of trained manpower. To ensure proper clinical use of blood, more blood component separation facilities would be established in the country, which would improve availability of adequate blood components and their use instead of whole blood. 10. Research and Development The Government will look out for collaborative research with scientific groups in developed countries for development of vaccines suitable for the strains of HIV prevalent in India. Development and trials of each vaccine will be subject to standard ethical guidelines developed and adopted by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Government would pursue all available means to encourage indigenous drug manufacturers to take up manufacture of antiretroviral drugs within the country. Government would also encourage indigenisation of the HIV-related equipment like test kits which will help in reducing the cost of service to a considerable extent.
Tools for Advocacy


11. HIV/AIDS And Human Rights Government will adopt the following measures to implement an effective rights based response. Government will review and reform criminal laws and correctional system to ensure that they are consistent with international human rights obligations and are not misused in the context of HIV/AIDS or targeted against vulnerable groups. Government will strengthen anti-discrimination and other protective laws that protect vulnerable groups, people living with HIV/AIDS and people with disabilities from discrimination in both the public and private sectors, ensure privacy, confidentiality and ethics in research involving human subjects, emphasize education and conciliation and provide for speedy and effective administrative and civil remedies. Government will ensure widespread availability of qualitative prevention measures and services, adequate HIV prevention and care information and services. Government will ensure support service that will educate people affected by HIV/AIDS about their rights, provide legal services to enforce these rights and develop expertise on HIV related legal issues. Government will promote wide distribution of creative and educational, training and media programmes explicitly designed to change the attitudes of community towards discrimination and stigmatization associated with HIV/AIDS. Government in collaboration with and through the community will promote a supportive and enabling environment for women, children and other vulnerable groups by addressing underlying prejudices and inequalities through community dialogue, specially designed social and health services and support to community groups. Government will co-operate through all relevant programmes and agencies of the United Nations System, including UNAIDS, to share knowledge and experience concerning HIV related human rights issues and would ensure effective mechanisms to protect human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS at internatinal level.

Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centres (VCTC) NACO has provided for VCTCs. The centres provide free testing and counselling for PLWHAs. HIV testing and counselling is very important both for prevention and for starting the treatment. It provides people with an opportunity to learn and accept their HIV +status in a confidential environment.
Tools for Advocacy 83

It is very important to note that the VCTC is not only a place for testing a sample for HIV, but it also allows for a confidential discussion with a trained counselor. The focus is on emotional and social issues related to possible or actual HIV infection. The aim of VCTC is to reduce psychosocial stress and to provide the client with the information and support necessary to make decisions. International Conventions and Guidelines India has signed a few international conventions and treaties and she is bound to abide by them. CEDAW is one such convention.

Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

We often discuss the discrimination which HIV+ persons come across. But the discrimination increases when the affected person is a woman. For e.g., the family would still be ready to take care of its HIV+ son, but they would force an HIV+ daughter-in-law to leave the house. The CEDAW talks about women's rights. Women affected by HIV/AIDS also have these rights. The document also contains some general recommendations, which specifically relate to HIV/AIDS. Under CEDAW, the government has to work in two ways Make laws against any kind of discrimination against women Make sure that all the women get the rights given under these laws. Right against Discrimination Nobody can discriminate against a woman only because of her sex. She is entitled to equal rights. Discrimination includes any kind of violent act against a woman. The government should make proper laws to stop this kind of discrimination. It must make sure that the laws are being implemented. It should provide support to all the HIV/AIDS victims irrespective of their sex.


Tools for Advocacy

Right to Education Women and girls must have access to education. They must have access to higher technical education and all types of vocational training. They must have the education related to health and sexuality. The government must provide schools for children to study in. It must ensure that the schools are not making any distinction on the basis of gender. It must take care that children are not being denied admissions in schools only because they are HIV+. The government should increase public awareness of the risk of HIV/AIDS, especially in women and children. It should revise the textbooks and remove all kinds of gender discrimination. Women should be given information about their sexual and reproductive health. Right to Employment Women have the same right to employment opportunities. The criteria for selection should be same. They have the right to all the social security measures such as insurance, provident fund etc. They have the right to protection of health as related to their working conditions. They have the right to separate rights at workplace in relation to their maternal status. Right to Health The State must provide enough hospitals and all the other health care facilities. It should provide all the information facilities to women in relation to family planning. Programmes to combat HIV/AIDS should be given special attention. An HIV + woman also has the right to give birth to a child. But she must be counseled about the risk it would pose to the health of the child. She must also be told about the precautions to be taken. The health care should be from women's perspective also. For eg., the right to confidentiality becomes more important when it comes to women.
Tools for Advocacy 85

Right to Property Men and women must have equal rights in property matters. They should be equal in the eyes of law in property related issues also. A woman should have the right to own, acquire, inherit and manage her own property. She must have the right to take bank loans. She must have the right to form self-help groups to save money.

International Labour Organization (ILO)

ILO is the international organisation which gives guidelines and monitors issues related to the workplace. It has come out with The Code of Practice At Workplace. It seeks to prevent occurrence of HIV in the workplace as well as care for those living with HIV/AIDS in the workplace. The Code also seeks to protect the fundamental rights of those living with HIV/AIDS, such as the right to non-discrimination, equal protection and equality before the law, privacy, freedom of movement, work and social security. The Code applies to all employers and workers in the public and private sectors, and all aspects of work, formal and informal. These include governments, employers and workers and their organizations, occupational health personnel, specialists in HIV/AIDS issues, and all relevant stakeholders. Main principles of the Code

non-discrimination in employment on the basis of real or suspected HIV status, gender equality, screening and confidentiality, social dialogue, prevention and care and support special attention to the problems of persons with special needs. Base the HIV/AIDS policy on human rights
Tools for Advocacy

UNAIDS is a part of United Nations. Its objectives are to prevent the spread of HIV provide care and support for those infected and affected by the disease reduce the handicap of individuals and communities as a result of HIV/AIDS lessen its impact on the society. UNAIDS and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights in 1998 as a joint policy and also as a tool to help States implement an effective, rights-based HIV/AIDS response. These guidelines are rooted in a framework of existing human rights principles, norms and standards found in various regional and international human rights instruments. Guidelines 1) States should establish an effective national framework for their response to HIV/AIDS which ensures a coordinated, participatory, transparent and accountable approach, integrating HIV/AIDS policy and programme responsibilities across all branches of government. 2) States should ensure, through political and financial support, that community consultation occurs in all phases of HIV/ AIDS policy design, programme implementation and evaluation and that community organizations are enabled to effectively carry out their activities in the fields of ethics, law and human rights. 3) States should review and reform public health laws to ensure that they adequately address public health issues raised by HIV/AIDS,that the provisions applicable to casually transmitted diseases are not inappropriately applied to HIV/AIDS and that they are consistent with international human rights obligations. 4) States should review and reform criminal laws and correctional systems to ensure that they are consistent with international human rights obligations and are not misused in the context of HIV/AIDS or do not target vulnerable groups. 5) States should enact or strengthen anti-discrimination and other protective laws that protect vulnerable groups, people living with HIV/AIDS and people with disabilities from discrimination in both the public and private sectors, ensure privacy and confidentiality and ethics in research involving human subjects, emphasise education and conciliation, and provide for speedy and effective administrative and civil remedies.
Tools for Advocacy 87

6) States should enact legislation to provide for the regulation of HIV-related goods, services and information, so as to ensure widespread availability of qualitative prevention measures and services, adequate HIV prevention and care information and safe and effective medication at an affordable price. 7) States should implement and support legal support services that will educate people affected by HIV/AIDS about their rights, provide free legal services to enforce those rights, develop expertise on HIV-related legal issues and utilize means of protection in addition to the courts, such as offices of ministries of justice, ombudspersons, health complaint units and human rights commissions. 8) States, in collaboration with and through the community, should promote a supportive and enabling environment for women, children and other vulnerable groups by addressing underlying prejudices and inequalities through community dialogue, specially designed social and health services and support to community groups. 9) States should promote the wide and ongoing distribution of creative and educational training and media programmes explicitly designed to change attitudes of discrimination and stigmatization associated with HIV/AIDS to understanding and acceptance. 10)States should ensure that governments and the private sector develop codes of conduct regarding HIV/AIDS issues that translate human rights principles into codes of professional responsibility and practice, with accompanying mechanisms to implement and enforce these codes. 11)States should ensure monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to guarantee the protection of HIV-related human rights, including those of PLWHAs, their families and communities. 12)States should cooperate with all relevant programmes and agencies of the United Nations system, including UNAIDS, so as to share knowledge and experience concerning HIV-related human rights issues and should ensure effective mechanisms to protect human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS at the international level.

Global Coalition on Women and AIDS

Which was launched in February 2004, is a new initiative made up of activities, government representatives, community workers and celebrities, that seek to stimulate concrete action on the ground to improve the daily lives of women and girls. Its a worldwide network of civil society groups, governments, UN agencies, and concerned citizens who have come together to make the AIDS response work better for women. A dynamic, diverse, but coherent alliance, the Coalition is dedicated to empowering women to take control of their own lives in a world with AIDS.
88 Tools for Advocacy

The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS seeks to :

Remove the financial barriers that prevent girls from going to school. Educated girls have a better chance of building a future for themselves and their families. They also have lower rates of HIV infection. Abolishing school fees, providing cash grants, and introducing flexible schooling are all ways to help increase girls enrolment in schools and give them a better start in life. End violence against women Violence against women still occurs in all societies and cultures. Many women and girls live in daily fear of psychological, physical, or sexual assault. In many cases women and girls do not seek advice about HIV because they are afraid this will spark violent reactions from partners, family members, an communities. Implement laws to safeguard womens property and inheritance rights Women need a secure roof over their heads if they are to provide for their families, stay safe from HIV infection, and care for relatives when they become sick. Too often, if a husband dies, the widow loses access to that security. Most governments have ratified international conventions which protect womens property rights. Now they need to enforce them. Improve access to prevention services Women and girls, including those who are HIV positive, require good sexual and reproductive health services. Most young brides and other adolescent girls find it difficult to access vital information and services. As a result, they are susceptible to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. They need access to voluntary testing and counselling, as well as services to protect themselves and their children from infection. Women and girls also need prevention options they can control themselves, such as the female condom and microbicides sponges, gels, creams, and suppositories that block HIV transmission. Equalize access to treatment Given that half the worlds HIV infected population is now female, global programmes to step up access to treatment for HIV and related infections must ensure women have equal access. Value care givers Most of the burden of caring for the sick falls on women. Sometimes young, sometimes old, they are rarely equipped with the information and resources they need. It is time to acknowledge the value of this work and give it the support it deserves.

The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA)

An HIV+ person can understand the suffering and pain of being HIV positive and so she can help another person in the same situation in a much better and sensitive manner. Therefore, a few guidelines and principles were
Tools for Advocacy 89

formulated to increase the participation of such persons in tackling the issue of HIV/AIDS. These are called the GIPA principles. The principles of GIPA were reinforced in a Declaration signed by almost all members of the United Nations, including India. GIPA Principles To support the greater involvement of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) by way of initiatives to strengthen the capacity and coordination of networks of PLWHAs and CBOs, stimulating the creation of a supportive political, legal and social environment; To involve PLWHAs fully in decision making, formulation and implementation of public policies; To protect and promote the rights of individuals, in particular those living with or most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, through the legal and social environment; To make available necessary resources to better combat the pandemic including adequate support for PLWHA, NGOs and CBOs working with vulnerable and marginalized populations; To strengthen national and international mechanisms connected with human rights and ethics related to HIV/AIDS. The GIPA emphasises the greater involvement of HIV+ persons at all levels such as: Decision making Law and Policy making Formulation implementing mechanisms Designing and executing and evaluating programmes Forming groups to help PLWHAs.
Respect yourself. Fight against discrimination and injustice. Bond with other positive persons. Help each other

How would GIPA be of use ? The GIPA principle is important for several reasons. When people openly speak about living with HIV/AIDS, this helps to reduce the stigma attached to discussing this issue publicly. AIDS becomes a reality when people meet others living with HIV.
90 Tools for Advocacy

Having live contact with PLWHA breaks down barriers, helps individuals overcome fear and prejudice and creates an atmosphere in which people can discuss AIDS openly and reassess and reposition their beliefs. People who are open about their positive status can help to reduce AIDS-related discrimination and facilitate the establishment of new norms of behaviour. As prejudicial attitudes against PLWHA decrease and community perceptions about their vulnerability are challenged, people will take more shared responsibility for prevention and the demand for voluntary HIV testing will increase. PLWHA also bring the unique perspective of their experience to organisations and can perform a variety of valuable functions in advocacy, prevention, care and support and the protection of human rights Crucial to this process is the creation of a supportive and enabling social/political environment that is conducive to disclosure of HIV status without jeopardy to a person's physical or psychological well being. Provision of sustainable support, a range of accessible services and appropriate training to PLWHAs to equip them with the skills and confidence to carry out their work is also essential. Also, there remain many barriers to involving PLWHAs in the response to AIDS. For example, lack of training and confidence in the abilities of PLWHAs as professionals. Therefore, they should be provided with training in different aspects of HIV/AIDS related issues.

Tools for Advocacy


Chapter 10

Obtaining Justice

We are aware about our legal rights but we do not have enough resources to approach the appropriate authority. We neither have access nor any support. We should not feel that because we do not have enough resources, we can't approach these authorities. But it is true that often a woman is so underprivileged that she may not know or be able to fight for her rights on her own. She needs some outside support. Apart from the police and courts, there are various other organizations which can help a woman in getting her rights. Some organizations have been established by the government. Many United Nations and other international agencies are also extending their help to the Government of India to deal with the issue of HIV/AIDS. But the best way of getting support is to get it from within the community. An HIV+ person would better understand the problems and feelings of another HIV+ person. There is an international convention emphasizing the involvement of PLWHAs in tackling the HIV/AIDS issue.

1. State AIDS Control Society (SACS)

For the proper implementation of its programmes, NACO works through its state level agency called SACS. It implements the programmes and objectives of NACO at the state level. The list of SACS is given in Annexure II to this manual.

2. Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS

International Network of Positive people (INP+) is a national, community-based, non-profit organization representing the needs of PLWHAs. The network has established Positive Living Centers to provide comprehensive medical care and psychosocial support to PLWHAs and their families. They conduct awareness workshops to provide PLWHAs access to information.
92 Obtaining Justice

It has established a Family Counseling Centre at various Government Hospitals to provide information on issues relating to life after infection for both PLWHAs and their families. The INP+ also has various state networks in India. These networks under tabe leadership development, advocacy for policy, programmes & implementation of effective strategies for prevention, care & treatment of those affected by HIV. It also does research work on various issues related to HIV/AIDS. The list of State level Networks is given in Annexure III to this manual. There is a national level network of HIV + women called Positive Womens Network based in Chennai.

3. National Commission for Women

Exploitation of the poor definitely exists in our country. The nature and the rate of atrocities increase where women are concerned. Therefore, to protect the interests of women specifically, the Indian government has set up a commission. This commission helps women to avail of their rights and fight for justice. The highest level of this Commission is in Delhi called National Commission for Women. But most of the states have a state-level commission for women also. If your state does not have one, pressurize the government to set it up.

4. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

We have many agencies which implement the law such as the police, the courts, etc. but sometimes these agencies themselves violate the law or help others to do so. Where can a person go in such a case ? In these kinds of cases, one can approach NHRC. The highest level of this Commission is in Delhi called National Human Rights Commission. But most of the states have a state- level human rights commission also. If your state does not have one, pressurize the government to set it up.

5. Legal Aid Cells

We have heard that lawyers charge high fees for taking up cases. We cannot afford to pay that kind of money so our petition will not be filed properly. Can the court help us in this ? The government has set up Legal Aid Cells in all the Courts of the country. There are Legal Aid Cells in the district courts, High Courts as well as the Supreme Court of India. One can go to these Legal Aid Cells and ask for help. They will appoint a lawyer who will fight the case free of charge.
Obtaining Justice 93

The following persons can ask for and receive free legal aid: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Women and Children; Victims of 'begar' or trafficking; SC/STs; Victims of any mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster;

(v) Workers of factory or mill, (vi) Persons who are in jail, mental hospital/nursing home, juvenile home, protective home; (vii) Persons whose annual income is less than 25000/- for cases upto High Court. Persons whose annual income is less than 50000/- for cases upto Supreme Court.

6. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)/Community Based Organisations (CBOs)

Apart from the government agencies, there are various non-government organisations in our country which tackle different issues. These organisations are better equipped to help as they are situated locally and are more aware of the problems related to the community. Many of these organisations are supported by NACO. The list can be seen at NACO's website

7. Help Line
The State Aids Control Orgnasation of different states have a help line number 1097. Any individual who wants any information related to HIV /AIDS can call up at this number. Apart from this many NGOs also provide a help line service. Contact your local NGOs dealing with this issue.


Obtaining Justice

Phase I has been implemented initially in 8 institutions, six in high prevalence states and two in Delhi from April, 2004 I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh Bangalore Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka Sir. J .J. Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra Regional Instt. of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur District Naga Hospital, Kohima, Nagaland Govt. Hospital for Thoracic Medicine, Tambaram, Tamil Nadu Dr. RML Hospital, Delhi LNJP Hospital, Delhi

ART Trained Institutions

Following Institutions have already been trained in ART since 9th August, 2004 Karnataka:1. VIMS, Bellary, Bangalore, 2. Vani Vilas Hosp., Bangalore, Karnataka 3. Indira Gandhi Instt. of Child Health, Bangalore 4. Bowring & Lady Curzon Hosp., Bangalore 5. Mysore Medical College, Karnataka 6. Karnataka medical College, Hubli, Karnataka Andhra Pradesh:7. Osmania Medical college, Hyderabad 8. Guntur Medical college, Guntur, Andhra Pr. 9. Andhra pr. Med. College, Vishakhapatnam Tamil Nadu:10. GHTM, Tambaram, Tamil Nadu 11. Stanley Medical College, Chennai 12. Madras Medical College, Chennai 13. Govt. Medical College, Namakkal 14. Kilpauk M. C., Chennai 15. CMC, Vellore Maharashtra 16. JJ Hospital, Mumbai 17. Sion Hosp., Mumbai 18. KEM Hospital, Mumbai 19. Nair Hosp., Mumbai 20. B.J. Medical college, Pune Manipur 21. RIMS, Manipur Nagaland 22. Naga Hospital, Kohima Delhi 23. AIIMS, Delhi 24. LNJP Hosp., Delhi 25. GTB Hosp., Delhi 26. RML Hosp., Delhi I

List of additional 8 Medical Institutions where the ART has been upscaled w.e.f. 25th August,2004. I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. Madras Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu Govt. Medical College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu Karnataka Medical College, Hubli, Karnataka Mysore Medical College, Mysore, Karnataka Government Medical College, Guntur, A.P. Government Medical College, Vizag, A.P. Government Medical College, Sangli, Maharashtra Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital, Imphal, Manipur

List of additional 9 Medical Institutions where the ART is being upscaled w.e.f. 15th September, 2004. I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. B. J. Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra Govt. Medical College, Nagpur, Maharashtra District Hospital, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu B. J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat Calcutta Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal BHU Banaras Institute of Medical Sciences, Varanasi, U.P. PGIMER, Chandigarh SMS Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan Medical college, Panaji, Goa

S.No. Project Director Address Office 01. Dr. R.Thulasidasan Andaman & Nicobar AIDS Control Society, G.B. Pant Hospital Complex, Port Blair-744104 Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, Directorate of Medical & Health Services, Sultan Bazar,Hyderabad-500059 Arunachal Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh AIDS Control Society, Naharlagun, New Itanagar-791110 Assam State AIDS Control Society, Khanapara, Guwahati-781 022 Bihar State AIDS Control Society, Health Department, New Secretariat,Patna-800 015 Chandigarh Chandigarh AIDS Control Society, SCO No.14-15, 1st Floor, Sector 8-C, Chandigarh 160018 Dadra & Nagar Haveli AIDS Control Society, I Floor Shri Vinoba Bhave Civil Hospital, Silvassa-396230 Daman & Diu AIDS Control Society, UT of Daman & Diu, Primary Health Centre, Moti,Daman 396220 (03192) 36555 37941 (040) 24657221 24650776 Mobile No9848015885 (0360) 2351268 (0361) 2620524 2261605 (0612) 2290278 Telephones Residence 35635

State AIDS Control Societies

E-Mail ID Fax 31176 32910


Smt.K.Damayanthi, IAS

24650776 24652267



Dr. Hage Lodar

245360 244359


Shri J.C. Dewri




Sh.C.K.Anil, IAS

2290278 2234992, 9835020317



(0172) 544563 544589 544590 (0260) 2642061

549952 781051

544563 5432



Dr. L.N. Patra




Dr. S. S. Vaishya

(0260) 2230570 2230847 2230470

54371 55164 9825142600 2230570



Shri.Arun Baroka

Delhi AIDS Niyantran Samiti, 11, Lancer Road, Mall Road,Timarpur, Delhi110054 Goa First Floor Dayanand Smiriti Building Swami Vivekanand Road, Panaji-403001 Gujarat State AIDS Control Society, 0/1 Block, New Mental Hospital Complex, Menghaninagar,Ahmedabad-38001 Haryana AIDS Control Society, SCO-10, Sector-10, Panchkula

(011) 23815804, 23392019, (0832) 2422518, 2427286 (079) 2680211-13 2685210 2681043 9825063430 (0172) 585413 584549-PD 585503, 563317, 582465 9814125672 (0177) 2621608 2625857



Dr. P.K. Ghodge

(0832) 2860262

(0832) 2422158 or ,


Dr. D.M.Saxsena

2685033 2680214






Himachal Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, Block No.38, Ground Floor, SDA Complex, Kasumpti,Shimla-171009 J&K State AIDS Prevention Control Society 1st Floor, Khyber Hotel, Khayam Chowk,Srinagar Karnataka State AIDS Control Society, No. 4/13-1, Crescent Road, High GrdsBangalore-560001 Kerala State AIDS Control Society, IPP Building, Red Cross Road, Thiruvananathapuram, Kerala 695037 Lakshadweep AIDS Control Society, Directorate of Medical & Health Services, UT of Lakshadweep ,Kavaratti-682555


221324 225857 220661







Mrs. Vandana Gurnani, IAS





Shri E K Bharat Bhushan, IAS

0471 2304882 2305183 04896 262316, 262817 262114




Dr. Atta Koya




Ms. Salina Singh

Madhya Pradesh AIDS Control Society, OILFED Building , 1 Arera Hills, Bhopal-462011 Maharastra SACS, Ackworth Leprosy Hosp. Comp, Behind S.I.W.S College, R.A. Kidwai Marg, Wadala (West),Mumbai-400031 Manipur SAC Society, Medical Directorate, R & D Wing, Lamphelpat, Imphal-795004 Meghalaya AIDS Control Society, Ideal Lodge, Oakland , Shillong-793 001 Mizoram AIDS Control Society, MV-124, Mission Veng South, Aizawl-796005 Nagaland State AIDS Control Society, Medical Directorate, Kohima-797 001 Orissa State AIDS Control Society, Oil Orissa Building , Nayapalli, Bhubaneshwar Pondichery AIDS Society No.93, Perumal kail Sstreet, Pondicherry Punjab State AIDS Control Society, SCO No. 481-82,Sector 35-C, Chandigarh Rajasthan State AIDS Control Society, Medical & Health Directorate, Swasthya Bhawan, Tilak Marg, "C" Scheme, Jaipur-302005 Sikkim State AIDS Control Society, STNM Hospital, Gangtok-737101

0755 2577016, 2559629 022 24113097, 24115791

2556619 2551619 9820400793 4113123 4115825


Shri.Sanjay Sawant


Dr.S.Sukumar Singh

0385 2414796, 2411857 2229014 0364-223140 2315452, 2315453 0389 2321566,

2224239 222629 224360 223165 223140



Dr. P.K. Barooah


Dr. K. Ropari



Dr. Kumuni Kathipri

0370 2241046 0674 2405134 2405104-06 0413 2343596, 2337000 0172 2669324 2669322, 0141 2381792 2381707, 2383452, 2383282 03592 225343,




Sri Mayadhar Panigrahi, IAS


2407560 2405105


Dr. G.V.L.Chalpathy Rao



Mr. Sukhpal Singh Gill, IAS



Dr. Satish Sharma




Dr. R.L. Sharma





Shri. S. Vijay Kumar

Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society, 417, Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai-600 008

044 28190261, 28194917, 28190467 9840045215 0381 2321614



Dr. Tapan Kumar Das

Tripura SAC Society, Health Directorate Building , Gurkhabasti, P.O. Kunjaban, Agartala, West Tripura-799 006 UP State AIDS Control Society, II Floor, Maternity Home, Naval Kishore Road, Hazratganj, Lucknow-226 001 West Bengal SACS, Swastha Bhavan, GN-29, Sector V, Salt Lake Kolkata-700 091 Ahmedabad MC Society, Old Municipal Dispensary, Behind Lal Bungalow, C.G. Road, Ahmedabad Chennai Municipal Corporation AIDS Prevention & Control Society, 82 Thiru Vi-Ka Salai, Mylapore Chennai-600 003 Mumbai District AIDS Control Society, Hospital Compound, Behind S.I.W.S College , R.A. Kidwai Marg, Wadala (West), Mumbai-31 Jharkhand AIDS Control Society, Sadar Hosp. Camp. Purulia Road, Ranchi Uttaranchal State AIDS Control Society, Chandar Nagar, Dehradun Chattisgarh AIDS Control Society, Directorate of Health Services, State Health Training cemtre, Near Kalibadi Chowk, Raipur




Ms. Aradhana Johri, I.A.S.




Sh. S.Suresh Kumar, I.A.S

033 23574400 23570122 23576000 079 6409857, 6468653 044 24980081, 24986514

9830148418 23570122


Dr.Laxman Melodia




Mr. Sundara Murthy IAS



Dr. Alka Gogate

022 4100245-49 4100250 0651 2309556


4100245 4100250


Shri.Rajiv Arun Ekka, IAS

(0651) 2562621 2720377 2728155 2728144 2235860




Dr R K Rajmani

0135 2756363 2728144 0135 3107947 0071 2235860

Telugu Network of People living with HIV/AIDS {TNP+} A-Block, My Home Complex, Upstairs Siva Stores, Near SRR College, Machavaram, Vijayawada 522 004, A P Phone : 0866-5529581,0866-55919031 Council of People living with HIV/AIDS in Kerela {CPK+} 1st Floor, Noor Mansion, St. Albert's High School Road, Ernakulam- 682035Kerala P.B. No: 3559 Phone : 0484-2384462, 0484-2367685 M 09847320012

State Level Networks

Network of Naga People Living With HIV/AIDS {NNP+} Beside Canssea Office, High School Road Kohima Nagaland 797001 E-mail: Phone: 0370-2100045

Zindagi Goa 2nd Floor, Behind MPT Ground Uma Shankar Building, Patrong, Baina-Vasco-da-gama, Goa-403802.

Manipur Network of People living with HIV/AIDS {MSNP+} Yaiskul Hiruhandba Leikai Imphal West Imphal Manipur- 755001 Phone : 0385-2440828/2440469

Bengal Network for People living with HIV/AIDS {BNP+} 2b, Chandi Gosh Road, Kolkatta- 700040 West Bengal E-mail:

Assam Network of People living with HIV/AIDS {ANP+} Rangpur Path, Opp. Blue flame Gas Agency, II Floor(PMDC Building) R.G.Baruah Road, Sunderpur, Guwahati-5, Phone : 098640-92916

HIV Positive People Welfare Society {HPPWS} No. 70/269, Labour Colony Guindy, Chennai 600032Tamil Nadu, Phone : 044-22327261,22327819

Pondicherry Network of Positive People Welfare Society {PNP+} # 19, Lyyanar Koil Street, IInd Floor, Rajanagar Pondicherry 13 E-mail:

Karnataka Network of People living with HIV/AIDS{KNP+} No. 113, 1st floor, 8th Main, 15th cross, Wilson Garden Bangalore.Karnatka Phone : 080-22120409

Network of Maharashtra by People living with HIV/AIDS {NMP+} Kashiba Shinde Sabha Graha Waghere Vasti, Pimprigaon Pimpri - 17 PUNE Maharashtra Phone : 020-27413064, 27411020

Rajasthan Network of People living with HIV/AIDS {RNP+} B.B. Saxena memorial poly clinic 3&4, Vijay shopping centre, Marudhar Vihar Khathipura mode, Jaipur. E-mail:, Phone : 0141-2348667/2351108/2358396

Gujarat State Network of People living with HIV/AIDS {GSNP+} Room No. 35, SMIMER Hospital, Ground Floor Near Sahara Darwaza Surat - 395003,Gujarat Phone : 02161-5594700 M 09879083865

Positive Women Network {PWN+} 9/5, Avenue Road Shanti Apartments Nugambakkam Chennai -600034, Phone: 044-28270204


National Human Rights Commission Sardar Patel Bhawan,Parliamnet Street, New Delhi-110001 Ph.: 011-23348475, Fax: 011-23340016 e-mail: Website:

National Commission for Women, 4, Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg, New Delhi-110001


AIDS A.P. ART CII CBOs CSOs DDA ESI HIV GIPA ITPA IPC ILO MLA MP NACO NGOs NACP PLWHAs STDs SACS TB VCTC Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome Arrested Person Anti Retroviral Therapy Confederation of Indian Industries Community Based Organisations Civil Society Organisations Delhi Development Authority Employees State Insurance Human Immuno Deficiency Virus Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS Immoral Traffic Prevention Act Indian Penal Code International Labour Organisation Member of Legislative Assembly Member of Parliament National AIDS Control Organisation Non Government Organisations National AIDS Prevention and Control Policy People Living With HIV/AIDS Sexually Transmitted Disease State AIDS Control Society Tuberculosis Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centres