World Vision India organised a public hearing for people living with HIV/AIDS at YMCA here on Thursday to highlight the general discrimination faced by these people, particularly in terms of access to public health care facilities, individual property rights and related issues that violate human rights. It was also aimed at sensitising policy-makers and civil society about the discrimination faced by people with HIV/AIDS.

“People living with HIV/AIDS face stigma and discrimination and that can be countered only by a legal protective measure along with effective community and family support. The passing of the HIV/AIDS Bill is crucial in fighting discrimination,’’ said World Vision India’s Sushma Cornelius.

“Discrimination and stigma continue to haunt individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. Legal support and access to health care facilities still remain a distant dream for numerous affected people. We hope that the passing of the HIV/AIDS Bill will effectively address the prevailing concerns and aid in alleviating the stigma attached to the pandemic,’’ said World Vision India’s Daisy David.

Several individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS and have been facing challenges because of their status presented their issues before the panel.

The public hearing also provided a platform to key non-government organisations to network, share their experiences and draw up a follow-up action plan to effectively address issues relating to stigma, discrimination and human rights violations faced by people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.