India to ban discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS | India has passed a landmark bill which aims to ensure equal rights for those living with HIV/AIDS.

India to ban discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS | India has passed a landmark bill which aims to ensure equal rights for those living with HIV/AIDS.

The HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, passed by the country’s parliament on Tuesday, will make it illegal to discriminate against people living with and affected by HIV.

It is the first of its kind in south Asia, and will make India the largest country in the world to ban this kind of discrimination.

The legislation will make it illegal to discriminate against those living with HIV in the workplace; deny them access to education, housing and health care, or the right to stand for or hold public or private office. The legislation also bans businesses and other public places from refusing entry to anyone with HIV/AIDS.

There are also provisions where a person with HIV is not required to undergo an HIV test, medical treatment or research without their consent. An individual will also have the right to not disclose their status unless they choose to or if required by a court order.

There were more than 2.1 million people living with HIV in India in 2015, according to UNAIDS, the United Nations program which monitors global action on HIV/AIDS. Speaking Tuesday, India’s Health Minister J. P. Nadda said the bill was “historic” and promised action “against those who create hatred against HIV patients,” according to the Press Trust of India. The move was welcomed by many organizations that advocate for people living with HIV. “This legislation begins to remove barriers and empowers people to challenge violations of their human rights,” said Steve Kraus, director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific. Huidrom Rosenara, an associate director with the Delhi-based India HIV/AIDS Alliance, told CNN that “there have been many incidents of discrimination in hospitals, schools and communities.” “These incidents have decreased compared to decades ago but they still occur,” she said. “(The legislation) is a long awaited and positive move. We are very optimistic about it as it speaks volumes about the political commitment.” India has the highest number of people living with HIV in the Asia Pacific region, and the third highest in the world, behind South Africa and Nigeria , both of which have also passed laws banning some forms of discrimination. There were an estimated 36.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS globally in 2015, according to UNAIDS. In India, more than 68,000 people died of AIDS that same year. See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter. It took more than 15 years to table Tuesday’s act, discussion of which first began in 2002. The bill has received assent from both of India’s houses of parliament and is awaiting presidential approval before it becomes law. Rosenara from the India HIV/AIDS Alliance warned the law “won’t change the public’s mindset,” but agreed it was a step in the right direction. “It will protect the rights of people with HIV and let them lead their lives with dignity and respect,” she said.

Cannibalism Study Finds People Are Not That Nutritious

Cannibalism Study Finds People Are Not That Nutritious

Note to the prehistoric party planner: One dead mammoth can feed 25 hungry Neanderthals for a month, but cannibalizing a human would provide the crowd with only a third of a day’s calories.

A new look at the nutritional value of human flesh shows that, compared with other Paleolithic prey animals, humans weren’t especially packed with calories for their size.

“When you compare us to other animals, we’re not very nutritional at all,” says study author James Cole of the University of Brighton, who published his work Thursday in Scientific Reports.

According to his estimates, boars and beavers pack about 1,800 calories into each pound of muscle compared with a measly 650 calories from a modern human. That’s about what would be expected based on our overall size and muscularity compared to other animals, he says.

So, Cole asks, if humans aren’t especially valuable in terms of prey, why eat them? After all, unless they are sick or dying, they wouldn’t be easy to hunt.

“You have to get together a hunting party and track these people, and then they aren’t just standing there waiting for you to stab them with a spear,” says Cole.

Instead, Cole argues that perhaps not all ancient cannibalism was for filling bellies; it may have also served various social functions for early humans and their ancestors.

Archaeologists have found evidence of cannibalism in the human family tree at least as far back as 800,000 years. And though cutting and gnawing marks on bones can’t reveal motivations, ancient remains do offer a few clues to how widespread cannibalistic practices were throughout human evolution.

At the Gran Dolina cave site in Spain, for instance, the butchered remains of bison, sheep, and deer were mixed with those of at least 11 humans, all children or adolescents, whose bones showed signs of cannibalism. In addition to marks showing flesh was stripped from the bone, evidence suggests the Gran Dolina residents—an ancient human relative called Homo antecessor—ate their victims’ brains.

The remains were also mixed with those of other animals and had been prepared the same way, leading some anthropologists to suggest that cannibalism at the site might not have been done in a food-stress emergency or as ritual behavior. (Learn more about Gran Dolina in “Human Meat Just Another Meal for Early Europeans?”)

Perhaps human flesh was a common supplement to their diet, or perhaps the youngsters were outsiders, and cannibalism served as an effective “keep out” sign—the bones can’t say for sure.

“I agree with [Cole] that Paleolithic cannibalism was probably more often practiced as a ‘choice’ rather than mere ‘necessity,’” she says. “I think, however, that to find the motivation of the choice is a very difficult matter.”

“The issue is not one of nutrition as an alternative to large game,” says anthropologist Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St. Louis. “It is an issue of survival when there are no other food sources, members of one’s social group have died, and the surviving members consume the bodies of already-dead people.”

Cole acknowledges there’s only so much we can take from his limited analysis of human nutritional value, which was based on only a few modern humans. And certainly our ancient ancestors weren’t counting calories to make dinner choices.

Perhaps, he says, the real message is that ancient people had more of a mix of motivations for cannibalism than we’ve given them credit for. After all, human cannibalism in recent centuries has many roots, including warfare, survival, spiritual beliefs, and psychosis.