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India strikes
down rule denying jobs to HIV-positive people

India strikes
down rule denying jobs to HIV-positive people

The Karnataka Administrative Tribunal in Bangalore, India, has struck down a 1994 police rule that barred HIV-positive people from joining the force. The ruling from the southern Indian state was made public Friday.

Six years ago the Karnataka police force selected R. Ramesh Rao for a job but rejected him after a routine medical exam revealed he was HIV-positive. Finding that the 1994 policy was "arbitrary, illegal, and unconstitutional," the tribunal directed the police force to hire Rao and to no longer discriminate against applicants on the basis of HIV status. Police officials said they would respect the ruling.

"The order has exposed the shortsightedness of those in the top who make decisions," said Shakun Mohini of the HIV advocacy organization Vimochana.

Of India's 1 billion population, an estimated 5.1 million people are HIV-positive. Indians with HIV are often ostracized and denied jobs and proper care. (AP)

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