MANILA — A Catholic prelate has supported the government’s plan for mandatory HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing.
“Yes, I’m in favor, on the condition that proper care in handling of patients and cases to the human dignity will be exercised by the government,” said Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo in a text message.
On the other hand, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) said that the compulsory HIV tests are not only violative of people’s rights but also heighten stigma and discrimination.
“Instead of a reactive measure like this, paramount is a more comprehensive and effective HIV awareness program,” the group said in a statement.
At the same time, they call on the churches and other organizations to intensify the campaign on HIV and AIDS awareness.
“None is more essential than a united effort to promote an informed public, breaking myths and upholding the truth about HIV and AIDS,” the NCCP said.
The NCCP noted that they encourage young people to go for HIV tests for them to protect themselves and their future.
The Department of Health (DOH) has announced plans for mandatory HIV testing.
It was reported that HIV infections from January to February 2014 increased by 43 percent with 934 new cases recorded as compared to the same period last year. Eighty- three percent of these new cases were in the National Capital Region and 59 percent belonged to the 20-29 years age-group.