PASS RH BILL NOW TO HELP ADDRESS INCREASE IN HIV CASES -MAZA

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Largoza Maza today said the reported increase in the number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases in the country should prod Congress to immediately pass the Reproductive Health Bill.

The Department of Health has announced that an average of 29 HIV cases a month have been reported in 2007 and 2008, compared with 20 cases a month in previous years. “We must work towards bringing these numbers down and Congress can very well contribute to this by passing legislation that will make spread awareness on HIV-AIDS prevention and management, such as the Reproductive Health Bill,” said Maza.

According to Maza, the Reproductive Health Bill pending in Congress contains provisions that mandates HIV-AIDS education thus leading to its effective prevention as well as help combat discrimnation against those infliceted with HIV-AIDS. Moreover, will help spread resources and awareness on safe sex practices and make health facilities accessible to women and children.

Maza further said, “Addressing the issue of HIV-AIDS inevitably entails the implementation of a comprehensive reproductive health and maternal and child care program as envisioned in the RH Bill and in compliance with international standards set by the World Health Organization and the United Nations.”

The Gabriela solon also said edcuation on safe sex practices is likewise provided for in the Reproductive Health Bill. She stressed on the need for education with the latest data revealing that at least 4.9 million Filipino youth, aged 15-27 are sexually active. However, programs that would ensure their safety and help them become more responsible in dealing with their sexuality and relationships remain severely lacking.

The controversial measure is pending in Congress awaiting plenary debates.

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