HIV-AIDS Law now allows minors to seek HIV test without consent
Marje Pelayo • July 16, 2019 • 467
MANILA, Philippines – Teenagers may now undergo test for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) even without parental consent, under Republic Act 11166, also known as the Philippine HIV and Aids Policy Act.
Signed on Friday (July 12), the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) allows minors 15 years old to 17 years old to seek consultation to undergo HIV testing in order to curb the rise in the number of HIV/AIDs-infected individuals in the country.
According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the law aims to address the worsening situation of HIV cases in the country by lowering the age of consent from 18 to 15 years old.
“The law specifically provides for intervention through the matured, minor doctrine and the provision of the proxy consent of children below 15 years of age,” Duque said.
In 2008, according to the Department of Health (DOH), only one HIV case was recorded per day.
But in April last year, the number hit to 36 cases per day.
What is even alarming, Duque said, patients are getting younger with 15 years old as the youngest recorded HIV-infected individual known as ‘people living with HIV’ (PLHIV).
“A comprehensive intervention shall be provided for the key affected population which includes males having sex with males or MSM, sex workers, people who inject drugs PWID, transgenders, and overseas Filipino workers,” Duque explained.
“The Law also provides care and support to all people living with HIV, their affected families and, most especially, their orphaned children,” he added.
Also, the law assures that medical assistance will be provided in all hospitals, rehab centers and close-setting institutions to all PLHIV with emphasis on the antiretroviral treatment.
The government has allocated P1.2-B budget to fund treatments of PLHIV in the country. – with reports from Aiko Miguel
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