PDEA gets backlash for disclosing suspect’s HIV status

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HIV/AIDS awareness advocates have called the attention of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) over public disclosure of a suspect’s positive status on HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), following his arrest in a drug raid at a hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Author of the Philippine HIV-AIDS Policy Bill, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, urged PDEA and other law enforcement agents to apply system protocols and ethics in dealing with HIV positive individuals.

“Our authorities should help in telling the public that the HIV-AIDS epidemic can be effectively addressed and that persons with HIV should have their rights protected. Our authorities should not aid the further stigmatization of those living with the disease,” she said.

11 individuals, including a doctor and an engineer, were nabbed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in a buy-bust operation on Sunday, engaging in sexual acts/illegal drugs, and later announcing to the media that one of the arrested was HIV positive.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also opposed PDEA’s act by saying: “We’re working so hard in educating the people properly on HIV/AIDS, on taking away the stigma. Because of what PDEA and the news outlets have done, some people are now associating drugs and immorality with being gay.”