PDEA slammed for baring drug suspect’s HIV case
Two advocates for HIV/AIDS awareness on Wednesday called out the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for publicly disclosing a suspect’s HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) positive status following his arrest in a drug raid at a posh hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, author of the Philippine HIV-AIDS Policy Bill, urged PDEA and other law enforcement agents to learn the ethics, protocol and system of dealing with people living with HIV.
“Our authorities should help in telling the public that the HIV-AIDS epidemic can be effectively addressed and that persons with HIV should have their rights protected. Our authorities should not aid the further stigmatization of those living with the disease,” Hontiveros said.
On Sunday morning, PDEA agents caught 11 men engaged in a sex and drugs orgy and seized nearly P400,000 worth of illegal drugs. The agency later announced to media that one of those arrested was HIV positive.
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also protested PDEA’s disclosure, saying it not only traumatized the suspect but also worsened the HIV situation in the country.
“We’re working so hard in educating the people properly on HIV/AIDS, on taking away the stigma. Because of what PDEA and the news outlets have done, some people are now associating drugs and immorality with being gay,” she said on social media.