CBCP mulls new framework to combat HIV

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said a new framework can help fight the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

In his message during the commemoration of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (IACM) held May 19 at St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary, Rev. Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino Jr, MI. Executive Secretary of the Commission on Health Care of CBCP, proposed a new human rights framework to combat the disease.

He said this new framework offers a more coherent approach and a more comprehensive and more practical framework of analysis and action of societal root causes of HIV and AIDS.

“The human rights framework focuses on how people living with HIV would remove from their lives discrimination, indifference or denial or DID,” he said.

He said the traditional public health approach is comprised of education, information, testing, and treatment, but there is a need to be practical; thus, the new framework.

“Unless we have this in our society, the cases of HIV would still be increasing,” he said.

He said HIV is not only a medical issue; but it is also a social and moral issue.

“Gone are the days when we talk about medicine; gone are the days when we talk about testing. They are for free,” he said.

He said that antiretroviral treatments are given for free in health facilities by the Department of Health (DOH) and testing can also be accessed in social hygiene clinics.

He also urged the Department of Education to create a more comprehensive sexuality education for the youth, which is not solely based on body structures and anatomy.

“Sexuality is more than that. It is about relationships,” he added.

This year’s IACM was spearheaded by the Philippine Catholic HIV and AIDS Network (PhilCHAN)-Iloilo, which is under the PhilCHAN of the CBCP, in collaboration with the DOH Center for Health Development (CHD)-6. (PIA-Iloilo)