PYC welcomes new law granting free treatment to HIV-AIDS sufferers
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The new law that provides for healthcare policies for those affected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) will help the youth survive the disease, the chair of the Cebu Provincial Youth Commission (PYC) said Thursday, January 10.
PYC Chairman James Canoy was commenting on Republic Act 11166 or the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018, which was recently signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The new HIV-AIDS law, replacing the 20-year-old Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998, gives those diagnosed with HIV free access to anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment, the medication that can suppress the prevalence of the virus in the person’s body.
Individuals aged 15 to 17 years old may also get themselves subjected to HIV testing even without the consent of their parents, a policy barred by the previous HIV law.
Canoy said that with greater access to treatment and early detection, the youth now has a bigger chance to survive the disease and live a productive life.
“It can create programs dili lang sa mga batan-on, kun dili sa tanan nga affected aning HIV. Sa early nga stage nga mahibaw-an pga positive ka, much better gyud nga makaduol dayon sa mga hospitals or health agencies para makatabang,” Canoy said.
He added that the passage of the law means that the government has accepted that children as young as 15 years old may now be sexually active and at risk of being infected.
“Ang reason ana is para siya mismo maka-accept siya nga naa siya ana, nga sakit (The rationale behind it is for the sufferer to also accept that he has that kind of ailment),” Canoy said. /elb
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