The senile “HIV/AIDS” Law in the Philippines


So I was asked to answer a key informant interview (written) and I found myself writing down some articles from the 1998 law.  I noted some sections are “limiting barriers” and a lot of the other sections as not having been implemented or enforced.

Most of us would know that the proposed amendment has passed the lower house more than a week ago, but the 2nd reading at the Senate has been postponed to January 2018.  The proposed amendment had a lot of new clauses, hence the need for a new law.

I noted some issues below on the  1998  AIDS law, Some were:

Issue Section
Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 4

All teachers and instructors of said HIV/AIDS courses shall be required to undergo a seminar or training on HIV/AIDS prevention and control to be supervised by DECS, CHED and TESDA, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), before they are allowed to teach on the subject.


Limiting Barrier RA8504 Article 1, Section 4

no instruction shall be offered to minors without adequate prior consultation with parents who must agree to the thrust and content of the instruction materials.

Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 5

The knowledge and capabilities of all public health workers shall be enhanced to include skills for proper information dissemination and education on HIV/AIDS.

Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 6

All government and private employees, workers, managers, and supervisors, including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), shall be provided with the standardized basic information and instruction on HIV/AIDS which shall include topics on confidentiality in the workplace and attitude towards infected employees and workers. In collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall oversee the anti-HIV/AIDS campaign in all private companies while the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the Director General of the PNP shall oversee the implementation of this Sec..


Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 8

Informational aids or materials on the cause, modes of transmission, prevention, and consequences of HIV infection shall be adequately provided at all international ports of entry and exit.


Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 9

Local government units, in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), shall conduct an educational and information campaign on HIV/AIDS. The provincial governor, city or municipal mayor and the barangay captain shall coordinate such campaign among concerned government agencies, non-government organizations and church-based groups.








RA8504 Article 1, Section 10

Information on prophylactics. – Appropriate information shall be attached to or provided with every prophylactic offered for sale or given as a donation. Such information shall be legibly printed in English and Filipino, and contain literature on the proper use of the prophylactic device or agent, its efficacy against HIV and STD infection,


“as well as the importance of sexual abstinence and mutual fidelity.” *Note: update needed



Limiting barrier


Limiting barrier


(Limited to tri-media(radio, tv and print); many social media claims and misleading information need to be sanctioned)

RA8504 Article 1, Section 11

Penalties for misleading information– Misinformation on HIV/AIDS prevention and control through false and misleading advertising and claims in any of the tri-media or the promotional marketing of drugs, devices, agents or procedures without prior approval from the Department of Health



Limiting barrier



(No known guidelines have been issued specially on surgery. “Universal precautions” have always been used but no specific guidelines have been issues to shut down issues on mandatory pre-surgery testing)

RA8504 Article 2, Section 13

The Department of Health (DOH), in consultation and in coordination with concerned professional organizations and hospital associations, shall issue guidelines on precautions against HIV transmission during surgical, dental, embalming, tattooing or similar procedures. The DOH shall likewise issue guidelines on the handling and disposition of cadavers, body fluids or wastes of persons known or believed to be HIV-positive.




Example:  Philippine Airlines, KCC mall Zamboanga

RA8504 Article 3 Section 13

Compulsory HIV testing as a precondition to employment, admission to educational institutions, the exercise of freedom of abode, entry or continued stay in the country, or the right to travel, the provision of medical service or any other kind of service, or the continued enjoyment of said undertakings shall be deemed unlawful.




 No QA set for counselors who finished the counsellor’s training. No Client KII, no any form of quali check is in place, or have been reported

RA8504 Article 3 Section 20


Pre-test and post-test counselling. – All testing centers, clinics, or laboratories which perform any HIV test shall be required to provide and conduct free pre-test counselling and post-test counselling for persons who avail of their HIV/AIDS testing services. However, such counselling services must be provided only by persons who meet the standards set by the DOH.



A lot of cities still don’t have partner CSOs to intensify community-based services (i.e., Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Paranaque, etc)


RA8504 Article 4 Section 23

Local government units, in coordination and in cooperation with concerned government agencies, non-government organizations, persons with HIV/AIDS and groups most at risk of HIV infection shall provide community-based HIV/AIDS prevention and care services.



Where’s the study? Is this in reference to the OHAT?

RA8504 Article 4 Section 26


The Secretary of Health, in cooperation with the Commissioner of the Insurance Commission and other public and private insurance agencies, shall conduct a study on the feasibility and viability of setting up a package of insurance benefits and, should such study warrant it, implement an insurance coverage program for persons with HIV. The study shall be guided by the principle that access to health insurance is part of an individual’s right to health and is the responsibility of the State and of society as a whole.



While the insurance commission has come out with a general order to cover PLHIVs for life insurance, no specific implementations have been rolled out at the insurance company-levels.


Insurance commission circular order 2017-11





Limiting Barrier

*I do not know where the proxy consent stands on the release of the results for minors

RA8504Article 6 Section 32

Section 32. Release of HIV/AIDS test results. – All results of HIV/AIDS testing shall be confidential and shall be released only to the following persons:

(b) either parent of a minor child who has been tested;


RA8504 Article 7 Section 39


I am almost sure that the Philippine National AIDS Council is aware of these.  So…. let me end this with another “Oh well….”


About +daddy+drEw+

HIV awareness and treatment Advocate & Activist. Living with HIV since 2007. A friend. A partner. A dad to the HIV Community.
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