WHO hails passage of HIV-AIDS Policy Act
MANILA, Philippines — The World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines lauded on Friday the passage of the HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018 which will help curb the HIV epidemic.
“The WHO welcomes the new law as it helps elevate attention to HIV/AIDS and address some of the critical bottlenecks in the HIV programme in the Philippines,” WHO Philippines said in a statement.
“HIV continues to be a serious health threat in the country with a record high of 32 reported infections per day. Republic Act 11166 will help in expanding access to evidence-based HIV prevention strategies,” it added.
This policy act signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 20 replaced the 20-year-old Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act.
WHO commended the new law for facilitating easier access to learn about one’s HIV status, particularly “for young people aged 15 years old and above who can now undergo an HIV test without parental or guardian consent.”
“This is critical to intensify the response among the youth, who represent 62% of new HIV infections in the country,” WHO explained.
WHO also lauded the new law for boosting access to free HIV treatment and related illnesses as it “embeds HIV/AIDS in universal health care by tasking PhilHealth to develop a revised benefit package including medication and diagnostics for in-patients and out-patients.”
“We commend the Philippines, including the Department of Health, HIV partners and advocates, for this new HIV law. It is a step in the right direction to reverse the tide of the HIV epidemic and save the lives of many Filipinos,” the statement added. /gsg
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