HIV, Pinays, and the RH Law

Learn your ABC's. This World AIDS Day poster is from the DOH.
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HIV, Pinays, and the Reproductive Health Law


Sometimes when I’m looking for story ideas to pitch to my editors, I check my shortlist of credible sites to get a feel of upcoming slants and the latest trends. For general news, I go to CNN, BBC, and the Inquirer. For business, it’s usually Fortune and Entrepreneur. For health, I refer to WHO and DOH. When I was looking for a story to pitch to Women’s Health Philippines a few years ago, I browsed WHO’s website and discovered their AIDS campaign. That’s how I ended up writing an article about the current HIV and AIDS situation in the Philippines for Women’s Health Philippines last December 2013.

Anyway, especially since World AIDS Day is held every December 1, I’d like to post a few of the valuable inputs Dr. Ferchito L. Avelino shared with me about HIV and the RH Law. Dr. Avelino is the Head of Staff of the Philippine National AIDS Council Secretariat and Medical Director III of the DOH. He was also my main resource person for the said article:



RH Law benefits


Dr. Avelino believes that the RH Law will give women more opportunities to access available services and information. It will enable an environment that will assure Filipinas with sound judgment regarding her life. The aforementioned law, however, does not just concern itself with women’s health. It also takes into account men’s health and other key components, like the management of post-abortion complications, though it does not encourage abortion.

Furthermore, the law also tackles the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and the availment of safe and scientifically proven commodities that ensure that women will have the capacity to manage their fertility. Dr. Avelino describes HIV as the leprosy of the 30s and the TB of the 50s. He hopes that the dawn of the implementation of the RH Law can ultimately change how people think and look at the situation.



Numbers to note


When I interviewed Dr. Avelino, the statistics were on an upward trend. It’s sad to note that – two years hence – the numbers are still steadily increasing here and also among teenagers in Asia. How can this trend be reversed? In my opinion, it boils down to effective and efficient information dissemination via the utilization of resources such as social media and smartphone apps. But that’s fodder for another article. 😉


Learn your ABC's. This World AIDS Day poster is from the DOH.
Learn your ABC’s. This World AIDS Day poster is from the DOH.


Speaking of information, if you know anyone who might have a pressing concern about these topics, you may give them the follow contact information: 


National AIDS and STI Prevention and Control Program

Contact number: 651-78-00 local 2353




Philippine National AIDS Council

Address: PNAC Secretariat, Third Floor, Building 15, Department of Health, Manila, Philippines

Contact numbers: (632) 651 7800 locals 2550 to 2553




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Image from the DOH.

2 Comment

  1. […] The RH Law must be implemented fully. That is the hurdle today! […]

  2. […] * Update:  The May 17, 2016 editorial of the Philippine Daily Inquirer mentions a few more  pronouncements on public health from the camp of Rody Duterte. Among other things, he is going to push for a nationwide ban on liquor and smoking. The sale of liquor will be banned in public places starting at 2 a.m. Smoking, meanwhile, will be limited only to designated areas. Mr. Duterte also said that he would “insist on family planning.” This presumably means effective implementation of the RH Law.  […]

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