India has been marching forward, at par with other countries with regard to so many things. What we have however miserably failed to acknowledge and talk about is how sex is an inevitable part of life. The general consensus about sex in India is as bad as its idea of sex education. Sex has always been considered a taboo and institutions have remarkably kept sex education off their curriculum. As a result, the number of people indulging in unprotected sex is sky high. What does unprotected sex lead to? To unwanted pregnancies and worse – STDs. Unfortunately, in our country, any person suffering from sexually transmitted diseases are illtreated to the extent where they feel like criminals.
The HIV/AIDS act protects the rights of victims and prohibits discrimination or any kind of prejudices against them legally especially in matters relating to job opportunities, renting apartments, healthcare facilities and other social aspects making their participation in the same easier. The act which received presidential consent also prevents educational institutions both private and public from discriminating against people who are HIV/AIDS positive. The law has finally recognized that the diseases you breed are your personal matter unless they are contagious which STD’s are not. Yes, the myth of HIV/AIDS being water or airborne needs to be broken. It’s high time we recognize victims as humans and not as criminals.
The act also prohibits HIV testing as a necessary prerequisite before accessing any institution or obtaining any kind of employment. That would be infringing upon a person’s personal space and the act clearly stands against just forced disclosure of a person’s HIV status. It must be done only with his consent or in keeping with the demands of a legitimate court order. It also allows people below the age of 18 to access the normal facilities of a household establishment. This act could be a revolution and mark a red letter day in the history. It might take some time or people to actually put this act in motion but it will tremendously reduce the unnecessary hostility and hatred towards the victim. Would you behave in a similar way to people suffering from cancer or TB? how come your sympathies get transformed into hatred when it comes to HIV/AIDS?
Compassionate and love towards the victims of STDs make the already difficult life little easier for them.
The act was implemented on September 10th onwards and also plays an important role in controlling the rampant spread of the disease. Empowering victims and penalizing people who breed hatred for them was a much-needed step in our flourishing democracy. The protection of rights and confidentiality will help make the victims feel secure and safe at least within the bounds of their own country. The act also serves as a wake-up call. Making people aware of the disease, its causes and symptoms is the need of the hour. Because, “jab padhega India, tabhi toh badhega India”. So each one teach one, educate others and yourselves and learn to sympathise with people. Compassion is the greatest gift to mankind, put it to good use.