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Know Your Rights

 

The Fundamental Rights embodied in the Indian Constitution act as a guarantee that all Indian citizens enjoy rights such as equality before the law, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom of religion, and the right to constitutional remedies for the protection of civil rights.

They are aimed at overturning the inequities of past social practices. They have been used to successfully abolish untouchability; prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth; forbid trafficking in human beings; and protect cultural and educational rights of minorities.

It does not matter if an individual is affected or infected by HIV. "There can be no valid or effective response to HIV/AIDS without respect for the human rights, fundamental freedom and the dignity of human beings."

Three of the most important rights in the HIV scenario include:

 

Right to Informed Consent

The implications of HIV are very different from most other illnesses. Testing for HIV requires specific and informed consent of the person being tested and any research on data of HIV positive people.

 

Right to Confidentiality

A person has the right to keep information on HIV status confidential.  People with HIV are often afraid to go to court to vindicate their rights for fear of their HIV status becoming public knowledge. However, they can take the help of Suppression of Identity under a pseudonym.  This ensures that PLHA can seek justice without fear of social ostracism or discrimination.

 

Right against Discrimination

The right to be treated equally is a fundamental right whether it's something as simple as using a public well or something more serious like denial of housing.

 

You can seek remedy in a court of law if you are tested for HIV without informed consent, or your confidentiality is breached, or any of your rights have been violated. You have the support of the legal system to ensure it.

 

For more details, please contact

Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS)

website:  www.mahasacs.org

Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit

website: www.lawyerscollective.org,

Mumbai     -  Tel: 022-22875482/3, email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

New Delhi  - Tel: 011-24377101/2, email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Bangalore  - Tel: 080-41239130/1, email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it