Proposed proxy consent law under study
“It’s not only advocate, it’s not only counseling. It’s screening, apil na gyud ang treatment... kay naa may free nga mga tambal, naa may free nga mga screening test”.
This was stressed by Councilor Maria Lourdes Gaane during the meeting of the City Council committee on health and sanitation and health insurance, as the committee discussed updates on the proposed proxy consent ordinance on HIV and AIDS Testing.
During the meeting, Councilor Gaane said the committee wants to replicate the proxy ordinance of Davao City, adding that majority of age cases of HIV and AIDS in Cagayan de Oro City are below 18 years old.
She said the committee is waiting for guidelines from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Health (DOH) for the purpose.
“There is no specific guideline for HIV proxy consent,” she explained.
According to Dr. Jose Retuya of the City Health Office, the CSWD and DSWD already have forms on proxy consent for other cases such as minors in care centers of DSWD who need some treatment in a hospital and need consent from their guardians.
“The CSWD/DSWD already has the power for proxy consent especially if they are already under their care,” he pointed out.
Dr. Retuya said if the DSWD/CSWD can produce the form allowing them to sign in behalf of the minor child, then they can proceed with the HIV testing.
However, he said DSWD/CSWD should make sure that the children have no parents around.
“It would be very good if the parents will know that the minor child will be undergoing HIV testing aron makahibalo pud sila unsa ilahang role if the child will be detected positive or reactive for HIV,” he said.
“So han-ay na lang siguro tanan we just waiting for that particular document”, he added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Retuya informed the committee that the city already has trained two Registered Social Worker (RSW) for the purpose.
The two RSWs will be joining the 30-days HIV surveillance among males having sex with other males by the middle of July and August which will be spearheaded by the CHO under the Social Hygiene Clinic, a national activity from the DOH, he cited.
Retuya said the HIV surveillance will be done during nighttime from 9:00 PM to 3:00 AM. (JBD)