QC SUPPORTS HIV/AIDS LAW
MANILA — Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday expressed her support for President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s campaign to strengthen the government’s response to address the growing number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) cases in the country.
Duterte signed on Tuesday Republic Act No. 11166, or the “Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018”, which mandates the government to deliver more assistance and treatment to persons living with HIV, and to eliminate the stigma and discrimination to patients.
Belmonte, a reproductive health advocate, lauded Duterte for signing a policy aiming to make health services more accessible to HIV patients, saying it is a significant move to support all Filipinos living with HIV, and at the same time, to counter the spread of the disease.
“I am happy that a more updated law for HIV/AIDS was finally signed. As an advocate of reproductive health, I commend the administration for addressing this issue since the number of HIV cases has increased exponentially,” Belmonte said in an interview with the media.
“This law reflects the administration’s concern for those who are diagnosed with this disease. I hope through this, more people will turn to the government and get themselves checked because the assistance is now made more accessible,” she added.
In October last year, Belmonte vowed to intensify the city’s education and awareness campaign, especially to high school students, as she noted that people living in big cities, like Quezon City, are the most vulnerable in terms of sexual infections.
Belmonte, as presiding officer of the Quezon City Council, also led the passing of an ordinance on age-appropriate HIV education in Quezon City, which she believes is the best way to remove the stigma on HIV/ AIDS victims.
“I hope we can have a partnership with the national government in conducting more awareness seminars in schools here in Quezon City. I think through intensifying our awareness campaigns and education, we can control the increase in HIV cases,” she said. (PNA)