THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) issued an apology Wednesday, November 29, for revealing that one of the 11 suspects arrested in a buy-bust was HIV-positive.
"We may have gone overboard by violating his right to privacy,” PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said in a statement.
Republic Act 8504 mandates the "confidentiality in the handling of all medical information, particularly the identity and status of persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)."
PDEA operatives arrested 11 suspected male drug personalities following a buy-bust operation in Seda Hotel, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, Metro Manila on November 26. They also allegedly seized ecstasy pills, methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and gamma butyrolactone (GBL), a liquid party drug.
During the operation, one suspect yielded a bottle of medication supposedly for HIV treatment.
“In our ardent desire to issue a warning that organized passion parties spiked with illegal drugs and involving male-to-male sexual partners may contribute to the high prevalence of HIV infections in the country, we have disregarded the context of privacy. It was never our intention to be insensitive and discriminatory against people with HIV,” he said. (SDR/SunStar Philippines)