In compliance with, and commitment to the recently signed Department Order No. 09-2013 issuing the “Guidelines on the Formulation and Implementation of the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program in the Department of Foreign Affairs and its Attached Agencies,” the Office of United Nations and other International Organizations of the Department of Foreign Affairs, in partnership with the Foreign Service Institute and Action for Health Initiatives, Inc. (ACHIEVE), conducted a whole day workshop on workplace policies on HIV and AIDS last June 13, 2012 at the DFA Elpidio Quirino Hall.
Key agencies like the UNAIDS, Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) and ACHIEVE gave briefings on the status of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in a global and national scale, including a special discussion on researches done on migration and HIV and AIDS, and the countries which impose travel restrictions on People Living with HIV (PLHIV).
The workshop served as a venue where participants were able to gather insights and suggestions in concretizing and hammering out workplace rules and programs following the provisions of the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 and in support of UN MDG 6: Combat HIV and AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases. Areas discussed included support mechanisms to be made available for employees with HIV and AIDS within the Department and its attached agencies, improving the handling of HIV cases among OFWs by the Philippine posts abroad, furthering information dissemination and advocacy on HIV and AIDS prevention, and workplace issues concerning confidentiality and the stigma brought about by the condition, among other things.
Representatives from various concerned Department offices and attached agencies such as the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration (OUA), Office of Personnel and Administrative Services (OPAS), Office of Consular Affairs (OCA), Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA), Office of Fiscal Management (OFM), attached agencies like the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and UNESCO National Committee (UNACOM) and representatives from PHILHEALTH and private HMOs participated in the workshop.