Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday led the rollout of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) 2023-2028 Strategic Planning and spearheaded the development of action plans in addressing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country.
Undersecretary Maria Francia Laxamana was also present, heading the Special Concerns Team Strategies formulated during the event were harmonized with the previously developed 7th AIDS Medium Term Plan (AMTP), which highlights the five strategic pillars of the master plan, namely: Prevent, Treat, Protect, Strengthen, and Sustain.
Different developmental partners such as the World Health Organization, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and AIDS Health Foundation, civil society organizations and stakeholders such as the AIDS Society of the Philippines, Positive Foundation Philippines Incorporated Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., Action Health Initiative, Pinoy Plus Advocacy Pilipinas Inc., and Dangerous Drugs Board manifested their support to the Council.
They also vowed to continue collaboration with the different member agencies to make HIV services more accessible to the people. “We will continue to work to address and combat discrimination and stigma associated with HIV. Through this strategic planning, the actions to address the HIV crisis combined with factors that fuel the epidemic such as: social and gender inequalities, stigma and discrimination, structural barriers that prevent equitable access of affected populations to prevention, treatment, and care, and challenges placed on health, non-health and community systems, will be harmonized and concretized,” Vergeire said.
“We cannot do this alone. We need the help of all our partners and stakeholders on the ground. When we work together, our goal of ending the stigma and creating healthier communities will be ultimately achieved,” Vergeire said.