Yesterday I got a text from a client who is still in the process of retrieving his Confirmatory Result. Apart from that he got shocked because unexpectedly a friend whom he trust just told his friend who is a Doctor about his HIV status thinking that this person could really help out this client of mine.
Well I know that friends and family members are really there to help but this kind of situation is very sensitive. Your friend, trusted you that's why he told you his HIV status. And he expects you to keep it a secret.
About disclosure, it still depends on the person whenever he is ready to disclose his status. It takes time though and what scares us is that how will that person react if he knows about your HIV Status. As a friend or family member you should learn how to be sensitive and empathize with that person. But then again Acceptance is a process and you can never tell what their reaction could be. Others were thrown from their homes and left to sleep on the streets, others were threatened and experienced physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual turmoil. And there are also fortunate individuals who were accepted regardless of their HIV Status.
DO WE HAVE A LAW TO PROTECT US?
YES we have an HIV and AIDS Law
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8504
But let me just focus on....
Article VI: Confidentiality
- Section 30: Medical Confidentiality
- All health professionals, medical instructors, workers, employers, recruitment agencies, insurance companies, data encoders, and other custodians of any medical records, file, data or test results to observe strict confidentiality particularly the identity and status of persons with HIV.
- SEC. 33. Penalties for Violation of Confidentiality
- Any violation of medical confidentiality as provided in Sections 30 and Section 32 of this
Act shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment for six (6) months to four (4)
years, without prejudice to administrative sanctions such as fines and
suspension or revocation of the violator’s license to practice his/her
profession, as well as the cancellation or withdrawal of the license to
operate any business entity and the accreditation of hospitals,
laboratories and clinics.
- Section 34: Disclosure to Sexual Partners
- Any person with HIV is obliged to disclose his/her HIV status and health condition to his/her spouse or sexual partner at the earliest opportune time.
- Misleading information / advertising2 months to 2 years imprisonment
- Knowingly & negligently infecting others in the practice of one’s profession
6-12 years imprisonment, fines, suspension or revocation of license/accreditation
- Violations on medical confidentiality
6 months to 4 years imprisonment, fines, suspension or revocation of license/accreditation
- Discriminatory acts & policies
6 months to 4 years imprisonment, fines of not over P10,000, revocation of license/permits
This year the current Philippine AIDS Law (R.A. 8504) is being amended. It's more inclusive. It aims to protect the rights of people both infected and affected with HIV and the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Justice, and United Nations has put up a redress mechanism to address discriminatory acts towards PLHIV.
Let me give you a sneak preview on the new amendment.
HOUSE BILL No. 5312
“The National Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support Policy and Plan Act of 2011”
Section 8. Confidentiality.
The State shall guarantee the confidentiality and privacy of
any individual who has been tested for HIV, has been exposed to HIV, has HIV infection or
HIV and AIDS-related illnesses, or has been treated for HIV-related illnesses.
A. Confidential HIV and AIDS information - Unless otherwise provided in Section 8 (C) of this Act, it shall be unlawful to disclose, without written consent, information that a person:
i. had an HIV-related test;
ii. has HIV infection, HIV-related illnesses, or AIDS; or
iii. has been exposed to HIV.
The prohibition shall apply to any person, natural or juridical, whose work or
function involves the implementation of this Act or the delivery of HIV-related
services, including those who handle or has access to personal data or information
in the workplace, and who, pursuant to the receipt of the required written consent
from the subject of confidential HIV and AIDS information and has subsequently
been granted access to the same confidential information, shall keep its
Any media establishment is likewise prohibited from disclosing, without prior written
consent of their subject, any confidential HIV and AIDS information.
D. Disclosure to sexual partners. - Any person who tested positive for HIV is obliged to
disclose his or her status and health condition to his or her spouse or sexual partner
prior to engaging in penetrative sex or any potential exposure to HIV. A person
living with HIV may opt to ask help from medical professionals, health workers, or
peer educators to disclose to his or her partner about his or her condition.
E. Civil liability. - Any person who has obtained knowledge of confidential HIV and
AIDS information and has used such information to malign or cause damage, injury,
or loss to another person may face liability under Articles 19, 20, 21, and 26 of the
Better be aware of this. Know your Rights.
Again this is JaKePositive. BE SAFE! +)