MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a bill which aims to address the increasing number of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases in the country.
Duterte’s signing of the Philippine HIV-AIDS Act, which shall update the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998, was confirmed by former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.
Duterte’s signing of the Philippine HIV-AIDS Act came over three months since the Senate and House of Representatives ratified their version of the measure on Oct. 10.
The signed law aims to establish the Philippine National AIDS Council, which will ensure the country’s effective implementation of measures that will stem the spreading of HIV and AIDS.
The measure also requires the implementation of an education program for HIV and AIDS prevention to provide the public with relevant information to reduce risky behavior, lower vulnerabilities and promote the rights of persons living with HIV.
Data from the Department of Health showed that the Philippines had one of the “fastest growing” HIV epidemics in the world with 57,134 cases recorded from January 1984 to July 2018.
The HIV causes AIDS, which destroys the human body’s natural ability to fight off all kinds of infections. Antiretroviral treatment has been known to slow down the advance of HIV in cases detected early./PN