In the Philippines, people living with HIV (PLHIV) are protected by RA 8504, which guarantees the protection of the human rights of PLHIV. However, stigma and discrimination against them remain a major challenge, with one in two Filipinos living with HIV having their rights violated. These violations touch not only on HIV status, but also on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), with many men having sex with men (MSM) and transgender (TG) people – key populations affected by HIV – getting discriminated against.
To discuss the country situation on HIV and human rights, including stigma and discrimination related to AIDS and SOGI, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines, convened the National Dialogue on HIV and Human Rights on 6 July 2012. The gathering intended to discuss the country’s response related to HIV and human rights; and provide an avenue for discussion between “rights holders” (i.e. PLHIV, MSM and TG) and “duty bearers” (i.e. government leaders).