Inhuman isolation

Published: Saturday 28 February 1998

the Maharashtra government has withdrawn a controversial circular seeking to isolate hiv -positive women in the state and carrying out compulsory Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (aids) tests on them. Several non-governmental organisations (ngos) had opposed the government's move. According to these ngo s, the order violates constitutional provisions.

The health and family welfare ministry of Maharashtra, on December 9, 1997 ordered that all girls above age 12 should be sent to the observation homes/institutions and those from red-light areas should be examined within 48 hours. The ministry had directed district hospitals for conducting tests.

According to the circular, "If a girl is found to be hiv positive through the examination, she should be given appropriate treatment without her knowledge and this office is to be informed accordingly as soon as possible."

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