Duterte signs HIV-Aids law

Sun.Star Baguio - - The Na­tion - SunS­tar Philip­pines/Ruth Abbey Gita

PRES­I­DENT Ro­drigo Duterte has signed into law a mea­sure that will strengthen the gov­ern­ment's ex­ist­ing pol­icy against fur­ther trans­mis­sion of Hu­man Immunodeficiency Virus and Ac­quired Immunodeficiency Syn­drome (HIVAids) in the coun­try.

Mala­cañang has yet to re­lease a copy of the newly-signed law, but for­mer Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent Christo­pher Lawrence Go con­firmed in a state­ment on Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 9, that Duterte al­ready signed the Philippine HIV and Aids Pol­icy Act.

The new law ef­fec­tively up­dates the Philippine Aids Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol Act of 1998 in an ef­fort to im­prove the ac­cess to HIV pre­ven­tion and di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment.

The law seeks to ad­dress the ris­ing in­ci­dence of HIV-Aids by es­tab­lish­ing poli­cies and pro­grams aimed at pre­vent­ing the spread of the HIV epi­demic and de­liv­er­ing treat­ment, care and sup­port ser­vices to Filipinos liv­ing with HIV.

The le­gal frame­work on HIV-Aids will be in ac­cor­dance with ev­i­dence-based strate­gies and muti-sec­toral ap­proach that fol­lows the prin­ci­ples of hu­man rights, gen­der-re­spon­sive­ness, and mean­ing­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion of com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by the epi­demic.

Un­der the Philippine HIV and Aids Pol­icy Act, the Philippine Na­tional Aids Coun­cil (PNAC) is es­tab­lished to en­sure ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the coun­try's re­sponse to the grow­ing HI and Aids cases.

The PNAC is man­dated to for­mu­late sixyear Na­tional Mul­ti­Sec­toral HIV and Aids Strate­gic Plan or Aids Medium-Term Plan and pe­ri­od­i­cally up­date it.

HIV-Aids is trans­mit­ted when body flu­ids such as blood, se­men, pre-sem­i­nal fluid, rectal flu­ids, vagi­nal flu­ids, and breast milk en­ters an­other per­son's body.

Some 31,458 Filipinos liv­ing with HIV were listed as un­der­go­ing treat­ment as of Septem­ber 2018, ac­cord­ing to a data from the Depart­ment of Health.

The law in­tends to bolster in­for­ma­tion dis­sem­i­na­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, and stigma re­duc­tion mech­a­nisms to en­sure that the HIV and Aids re­sponse is premised on the re­spect, recog­ni­tion, and pro­mo­tion of hu­man rights and dig­nity.

It also calls for a pro­gram that will pro­vide free and ac­ces­si­ble anti retro­vi­ral treat­ment to in­di­gents liv­ing with HIV.

AP Photo Filipino Ro­man Catholic devo­tees pre­pare to mount on the car­riage the image of the Black Nazarene for a long and rau­cous pro­ces­sion to cel­e­brate its feast day

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