PNAC approves human rights roadmap
At the eighth plenary meeting of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) on July 8, 2021, the Council approved the document PNAC Human Rights Roadmap to Address Barriers in Accessing HIV and AIDS Services. In the certification issued by the PNAC Secretariat, the PNAC members and stakeholders are encouraged "to adapt this document in preparing their agency plans for a rights-based HIV and AIDS response."
Republic Act 11166, or the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act, provided the legal basis for the document. The law states the country's responsibility to ensure access to HIV and AIDS services "by eliminating the climate of stigma and discrimination that surrounds the country's HIV and AIDS situation, and the people directly and indirectly affected by it."
The law also directs the country "[to] positively address and seek to eradicate conditions that aggravated the spread of HIV infection, which include poverty, gender inequality, marginalization, and ignorance."
Prior the Council's adoption of the document, the final draft was presented at an earlier plenary, March 19. The development of the roadmap was proposed a year before, March 20, 2020. It was undertaken by the Council's human rights committee with technical support from UNAIDS. The committee was composed of government agencies Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Justice, and Commission on Human Rights, and civil society organizations Pinoy Plus Advocacy Pilipinas, Action for Health Initiatives, Alliance Against AIDS in Mindanao, AIDS Society of the Philippines, Project Red ribbon Care Management Foundation, Pilipinas Shell Foundation Incorporated, and TLF Share Collective.
The team engaged to develop the document was led by Percival Cendana as consultant, Saira Pambid and Cas Buenaobra as research assistant and documenter respectively. The team acknowledged that "44 organizations and participants... shared their valuable insights on how we may address the barriers to accessing HIV and AIDS services."
"We further thank them for sharing their experiences of stigma and discrimination based on perceived and/or actual HIV status, and we hope that this roadmap will be instrumental in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care," the team stated.
DOWNLOAD the PNAC Human Rights Roadmap