The HIV/Aids Policy Act of 2018 has officially been signed into law by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte yesterday. Government officials and netizens alike celebrated this achievement as this law will introduce newer and well-informed strategies to prevent and treat this epidemic.
According to presidential spokesperson and legal counsel Salvador Panelo, the president enacted the law after the Department of Health (DOH) disclosed that the Philippines has one of the highest increase of new HIV cases. “We laud our lawmakers including various stakeholders who immensely contributed to the passage of an updated legal framework addressing HIV and AIDS. This piece of landmark legislation will significantly reduce the stigma of people living with HIV or AIDS,” Panelo said.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who is the principal authors of the law, announced the passage on Twitter. “Today, we change the course of this rising epidemic, [and] hopefully, help usher in an AIDS-free generation,” she wrote. Sen. Grace Poe echoed this sentiment as well on her Twitter account.
Many lives have been unecessarily lost due to AIDS, including the lives of many young people. Today, we change the course of this rising epidemic, & hopefully, help usher in an AIDS-free generation. pic.twitter.com/0wvB4gVpyU
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) January 9, 2019
Masaya tayo na ganap na batas na ang Strengthened HIV/AIDS Law para sa matibay at epektibong implementasyon ng mga programang tugon natin sa HIV at AIDS. Para ito sa kapakanan at kalusugan ng lahat ng Pilipino sa gitna ng hamon ng nasabing karamdaman. #SalamatPoe #TrabahoPOE pic.twitter.com/uasj7JfUah
— GRACE POE (@SenGracePOE) January 9, 2019
Likewise, netizens and NGOs lauded this victory, saying that this is the progress our country needs.
Tagumpay ng bawat pilipino!!! ?? https://t.co/sOfJ43GKs6
— ???? ???????? ?️? (@marcopolaw_) January 10, 2019
As an advocate for HIV/AIDS Awareness, the Provincial Youth Commission – Cebu Province is delighted upon hearing the passage of RA 11166 or the Philippine HIV & AIDS Policy Act of 2018. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/6r15sLJLR2
— Provincial Youth Commission – Cebu Province (@PYCCebuProvince) January 10, 2019
✅ Mental Health Act
✅ HIV & AIDS Policy Act
Ahhh progress is progress
— Caye Borreo (@mcborreo) January 9, 2019
"R.A. 11166 — Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018"
May the approval of this legislation change the public's perception and reduce the stigma of people living with HIV/AIDS here in PH. Let them feel that they are still one of us and start educating ourselves. pic.twitter.com/cs9NgCyexN
— mj (@yojjyojj) January 9, 2019
If you want to know more about what the law entails, Akbayan Partylist created an information sheet for everyone.
Alamin kung anu-anong mga programa at serbisyo ang nasa bagong HIV and AIDS Policy Law: pic.twitter.com/MpeXkaPZDq
— Akbayan Partylist (@AkbayanParty) January 9, 2019
From January 1984 to September 2018, over 50,000 cases of HIV/AIDS were recorded in the Philippines. Metro Manila currently has the highest number with 23,478 cases (40 percent). Hopefully we’ll see some improvement on with the enactment of the HIV/AIDS Policy Act of 2018, most especially in breaking the stigma surrounding it.
Photo courtesy of Pexels
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