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The House of Representatives approved on the second reading the proposed “Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act” which seeks to prevent the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the country.

House Bill No. 6617 will strengthen the Philippine Comprehensive Policy on HIV and AIDS, treatment, care and support, and repeal Republic Act No. 8504, or the “Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998.”

The measure provides for an HIV and AIDS prevention program that shall educate the public on these and other sexually transmitted infections, with the goal of reducing risky behavior, lowering vulnerabilities and promoting the human rights of persons living with HIV.

It will also promote and adopt a range of measures and interventions, in partnership with civil society organizations (CSOs) that aim to prevent, halt, or control the spread of HIV in the general population, especially among the key populations and vulnerable communities.

Authors of the bill include Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, former Kabayan partylist Rep. Harry Roque, and Deputy Speakers Pia Cayetano, Sharon Garin and Miro Quimbo.