Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
Discrimination against PLHIV remain a major challenge in Ph

DOH declares discrimination against PLHIVs unlawful

Discrimination against PLHIV remain a major challenge in Ph
Discrimination against PLHIV remain a major challenge in Ph

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas said that it is unlawful to discriminate persons living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) or PLHIVs according to Republic Act (RA) 8504, otherwise known as the Philippine AIDS Prevention Control Act of 1998.

RA 8504 promulgates policies and prescribing measures for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines, instituting a nationwide HIV/AIDS information and educational program, establishing a comprehensive HIV/AIDS monitoring system, strengthening the Philippine National AIDS Council and for other purposes.

The DOH said that Article VII of the Philippine AIDS Law prohibits discriminatory acts and policies including discrimination in the workplace, school, hospital and health institution, restrictions on travel and habitation, inhibition from public service, and exclusion from credit and insurance services.

All discriminatory acts and policies against PLHIVs shall be punishable with a penalty of imprisonment for six months to four years and a fine not exceeding P10,000.

Licenses or permits of schools, hospitals and other institutions found guilty of committing discriminatory acts and policies described in RA 8504 shall be revoked.

DOH-6 Regional STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) Nurse Coordinator Charity Perea also clarified that HIV cannot be transmitted through casual social contact.

“There is no reason why we should fear and discriminate people with HIV. They are not a threat to the family or community. They have the right to live and are productive members of society if given due treatment, care and support,” she said.

DOH also urged the members of the media to assist in disseminating appropriate information on RA 8504 in order to help stop the fear, stigma, and discrimination against PLHIVs.

Meanwhile, DOH will commemorate the 31st International AIDS Candlelight Memorial on Sunday, May 18, 2014.

This year’s event with the theme “Let’s keep the light on HIV” will begin with a foot parade at Smallville and will proceed to Plazuela de Iloilo for the program and candlelight ceremony.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.