MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law that will strengthen government response to the growing number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS) cases in the country.
Duterte’s former top aide Bong Go confirmed that Duterte has signed the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act, which shall update the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998.
The law establishes the Philippine National AIDS Council to ensure effective implementation of the country’s response to the spreading of HIV and AIDS among the population.
“In addition, the measure requires the implementation of an education program for HIV and AIDS prevention, aimed at providing the public with relevant information to reduce risky behavior, lower vulnerabilities, and promote the rights of persons living with HIV,” according to a press release from Go.
The Palace has yet to release a copy of the signed law.
Data from the Department of Health showed there was a total of 954 new HIV cases in September 2018, bringing the total number of HIV infections to 8,533 in the first nine months of 2018.
Nearly 60,000 HIV cases, have been recorded in the Philippines since 1984.