‘Create monitoring team for fun houses to prevent HIV, STD’
Aiming to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the Quezon City Council is considering the creation of a monitoring team to basically ensure that no sexual activity is happening in local bars, massage parlors and other entertainment establishments.
The proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Jessica Castelo-Daza of the fourth district is under review by the council’s committees on games and amusements; health and sanitation; social services; and laws, rules and internal government.
In drafting the measure, Daza cited the Philippine AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) Prevention and Control Act of 1998 prescribing the prevention of STDs and HIV, the spread of which the councilor attributed to “unlawful sexual activity” in entertainment establishments.
Each month, Quezon City has been posting a high number of new cases of HIV infections with the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry of the health department’s National Epidemiology Center.
To curb the rise, Daza proposed that the local government organize a monitoring team that would regularly inspect the establishments and make sure these comply with both the city government’s “legal and legislative requirements.”
The draft ordinance defines entertainment establishments as commercial centers in the business or service of offering pleasure and delight to customers such as KTV bars and massage parlors where women are employed to entertain.
The monitoring team will be tapped to conduct routine inspections on entertainment establishments to determine if these have secured the necessary licenses, certificates and permits to operate, and to check if they comply with the city’s regulations.
Under the measure, the monitoring team will be under the management of the Quezon City health department.
The routine inspections, aside from ensuring that no sex is taking place within the premises, will also involve the verification of documents, licenses and other matters related to the entertainment establishments’ conduct of business.
According to the latest data from the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, there were 384 new HIV cases reported in November, bringing the total number of cases to 4,456 since January last year and to 16,158 since 1984. Data showed that 35 of the 384 cases have become full-blown AIDS and that most of the new HIV cases were recorded in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon area, Western Visayas and Davao.
Of the nearly 400 patients, 96 percent were men and most of them contracted HIV through unprotected sex with other men. Since January last year, deaths were tallied at 153 persons, three of whom died in November.
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