House ratifies bill seeking to replace old law on HIV and AIDS
The House of Representatives ratified the proposed Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018 during their Wednesday session.
The bill seeks to replace the 20-year-old Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act.
In a statement, Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao lauded the ratification of the bill that is “urgently needed and long overdue.”
“To all PLHIVs, I say: We see you and we hear you. You are not invisible. We listen to your stories,” Bag-ao said.
PLHIV stands for “people living with HIV.”
Once ratified by Senate, the bill will be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature.
The measure aims to restructure the legal framework on HIV and AIDS by harmonizing it with evidence-informed strategies and approaches on prevention, testing, screening, treatment, care, and support.
It will also clarify the roles and responsibilities of state institutions involved in the HIV and AIDS response and establish a road map on HIV and AIDS that has clear strategies, targets, operationalization framework, and funding.
The bill also seeks to strengthen the information dissemination, education, and stigma reduction mechanisms of the law, which guarantees that the country’s HIV and AIDS response is premised on the respect, recognition, and promotion of human rights and dignity.
Bag-ao also said the bill would “ensure political correctness and sensitivity.” /atm
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