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House Approves HIV/AIDS Prevention Bill on 3rd Reading

House Approves HIV/AIDS Prevention Bill on 3rd Reading

The House of Representatives on Monday unanimously approved on final reading a measure seeking to prevent the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) amid the rising cases in the country.

Voting 188-0, members of the Lower House approved House Bill 6617 or the proposed “Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act”.

The bill aims to promote the rights, welfare, and participation of persons living with HIV and the affected children, young people, families, and partners of persons living with HIV.

Under the bill, the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) will be reconstituted and streamlined to ensure the implementation of the country’s response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

The bill also mandates the formulation of a six-year National Multi-Sectoral HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan or an AIDS Medium-Term Plan (AMTP) to be periodically updated by the PNAC.

The medium-term plan shall include the country’s targets and strategies for addressing the epidemic as well as the prevention, treatment, care and support, and other components of the country’s response.

Furthermore, the bill provides for an HIV and AIDS prevention program to educate the public on HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections with the objective of reducing risky behavior, lowering vulnerabilities and promoting the human rights of persons living with the HIV.

Public and private employers and employees, including military and uniformed personnel, shall be regularly provided with standardized basic information and instruction on HIV and AIDS, including topics on confidentiality in the workplace and reduction or elimination of stigma and discrimination. (PNA)