Guidelines for the Implementation of STI, HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program in the Philippine National Police ( PNP Memorandum Circular No. 002-12 )

March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012


SUBJECT : Guidelines for the Implementation of STI, HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program in the Philippine National Police


1. References:

a. Republic Act No. 8504 otherwise known as "The Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998";

b. Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA No. 8504 dated February 13, 1998;

c. Department of the Interior and Local Government Circular No. 2011-13 dated September 8, 2011, subject: "Guidelines for the Implementation of STI, HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and Program in the Department of the Interior and Local Government";and

d. Civil Service Commission Announcement No. 21 s. 2010 dated March 25, 2010, entitled: "Guidelines in the Implementation of Workplace Policy and Education Program on HIV and AIDS in the Public Sector".

2. Purpose:

This circular prescribes the guidelines in the implementation of the Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) prevention and control program of the Philippine National Police (PNP) pursuant to Section 6 of RA No. 8504 and CSC Announcement No. 21 s. 2010.

3. Coverage:

These guidelines shall apply to personnel of the Philippine National Police. TAIcaD

4. Objectives:

a. To mitigate the impact of STI, HIV Infection and AIDS in the PNP as an organization;

b. To promote awareness in the prevention and control of STI, HIV and AIDS in the PNP through information, education and communication;

c. To ensure the full protection of human rights and civil liberties of PNP personnel suspected or known to be infected with HIV/AIDS; and

d. To establish a mechanism for monitoring, evaluating and reporting of HIV/AIDS cases in the PNP.

5. Definition of Terms:

For the purpose of this circular, the following terms shall be understood to mean as follows:

a. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) — A condition characterized by a combination of signs and symptoms, caused by HIV contracted from another which attacks and weakens the body's immune system, making the afflicted individual susceptible to other life-threatening infections.

b. Anonymous Testing — An HIV test procedure whereby the identity of the individual being tested is protected or not known. The unlinked anonymous method tests blood drawn for other purposes for HIV antibodies without the subject's knowledge and with all identifying data removed, while the voluntary anonymous method tests blood drawn from volunteers who have no identifying information, except a code number which is matched with a similar code of a given test result.

c. Compulsory HIV Testing — An HIV testing of a person attended by the lack of consent; lack of consent of the parent when said person is a minor or the legal guardian when the same is insane; or use of physical force, intimidation or any other form of compulsion.

d. Contact tracing — A method of finding and counseling the sexual partner(s) of a person who has been diagnosed as having a sexually transmitted disease or diseases. It may also mean finding person/s who may have been exposed or injured in the care or management of persons living with HIV (PLHIV).

e. Discrimination — A prejudicial act of making distinctions or showing partiality in the granting of privileges, benefits or services to a person on the basis of his/her actual, perceived or suspected HIV status.

f. Health Worker — A person engaged in health or health-related work in hospitals, sanitaria, health infirmaries, health centers, rural health units, barangay health stations, clinics and other health-related establishments.

g. High-Risk Behavior — A behavior or activity which when done increases the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV. Examples are unprotected sex with multiple partners, low condom use and sharing of intravenous needles.

h. Hiring — The process of selecting an individual for a specific position or job.

i. HIV/AIDS Education — The provision of information on the causes, prevention and consequences of HIV/AIDS and activities designed to assist individuals to develop the confidence and skills needed to avoid HIV/AIDS transmission and to develop more positive attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). DcIHSa

j. HIV/AIDS Monitoring — The documentation and analysis of the number and the pattern of spread and transmission of the HIV/AIDS infection and the prevention and control measures directed against it.

k. HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control — The program, strategies and measures aimed at protecting non-infected persons from contracting HIV and minimizing the impact of the condition can PLWHA.

l. HIV-negative — Denotes the absence of HIV or HIV antibodies upon HIV testing.

m. HIV-positive — Denotes the presence of HIV infection as demonstrated by the presence of HIV or HIV antibodies upon HIV testing.

n. HIV status — Denotes whether a person who has undergone an HIV test is HIV-positive or HIV-negative.

o. HIV Testing — A laboratory procedure done on an individual to determine the presence or absence of HIV infection.

p. HIV Transmission — The transfer of HIV from an infected person to an uninfected one, more commonly through sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, sharing of intravenous needles, or from the mother to the fetus or infant.

q. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) — The virus which causes AIDS.

r. Informed Consent — The voluntary verbal or written agreement of a person to undergo or be subjected to a procedure based on full information.

s. Medical Confidentiality — The expectation or situation of protecting and upholding the right to privacy of a person who had an HIV test or was diagnosed to have HIV. Confidentiality encompasses all information that directly or indirectly leads to the disclosure of the identity and HIV status of said person. This information includes, but is not limited to, the name, address, picture, physical characteristic or any other similar identifying characteristic.

t. Perceived or suspected HIV status — A judgment or suspicion about the HIV status of a person which may or may not correspond with the actual HIV status.

u. Person Living with HIV (PLHIV) — An individual whose HIV test indicates, directly or indirectly, that he/she is infected with HIV.

v. Pre-employment to Post-employment — The continuity of employment starting from the hiring process, through employment, resignation, retirement and after retirement or resignation of an employee.

w. Pre-Test Counseling — The process of providing information on the biomedical aspects of HIV/AIDS and the possible results of the HIV test; and providing emotional support for any psychological implication of undergoing HIV testing to an individual before he or she undergoes the HIV test.

x. Post-Test Counseling — The process of providing risk-reduction information and emotional support to a person who submitted to HIV testing at the time that the test result is released. IHDCcT

y. RHE — Reimbursement of Hospital Expenses.

z. ERHE — Expanded Reimbursement of Hospital Expenses.

aa. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) — Any disease that is acquired or transmitted through sexual contact.

bb. Standardized Basic Information — The amount of knowledge on HIV/AIDS deemed sufficient by the Department of Health (DOH),the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC),that enables individuals to take action for their own protection. It includes information on the nature of HIV/AIDS, its mode of transmission and causes. It discusses the issues of medical confidentiality, the dignity of the person afflicted with HIV/AIDS, the rights and obligations of employers and employees towards persons with HIV/AIDS, and the particular vulnerability of women.

cc. Termination from work — Dismissal from work or the end of an employer-employee relationship.

dd. Treatment or Care — A health, psychological, spiritual or social intervention extended to a person with HIV/AIDS.

ee. Total Permanent Physical Disability (TPPD) — Any impairment of the mind or body which renders the disabled PNP personnel incapable of performing substantially the duties of a police officer and which is expected to be long, continued and of indefinite duration. Provided that irreparable loss (Functional or Physical) of the power of speech, or sense of hearing, or loss of one or both hands or feet, or loss of one eye or both eyes, or loss of the limbs at or above the ankle or wrist, paralysis of one or both limbs, or brain injury resulting in incurable imbecility or insanity shall be considered permanent total disability.

 In all cases, the disability shall be deemed permanent if it has persisted for a period exceeding two (2) years without fixed healing period and renders the PNP personnel incapable of performing their duties. Provided, further, that in case the disability is found to be permanent beyond doubt upon medical examination of said personnel, the waiting period of two (2) years may be waived.

ff. Voluntary HIV Testing — HIV testing done on an individual who, after having undergone pre-test counseling, willingly submits himself/herself to said test.

gg. Window Period — Period of time, usually lasting from two (2) weeks to six (6) months during which an HIV/AIDS infected individual will test "negative" for HIV antibodies but, since the HIV is present, he or she is capable of transmitting the same.

6. Policy Guidelines

The STI, HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Program of the PNP shall be in accordance with RA No. 8504 and its implementing rules and guidelines.

a. Information, Education and Training

1) The STI, HIV and AIDS Prevention, Control and Education Program shall be integrated in all Mandatory Police Training and Schooling;

2) STI, HIV/AIDS Education shall be integrated in the Gender and Development (GAD) activities of all offices and units in NHQ, NSUs, Regional, Provincial and Municipal levels;  

3) The PNP Health Service (HS) shall coordinate with the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) through the DOH for technical assistance in providing standardized basic information and education on STI, HIV and AIDS to PNP personnel;

4) All PNP personnel shall be provided with a standardized basic information and education on STI, HIV and AIDS;

5) The PNP HS shall develop and implement a PNP workplace information, education and communication (IEC) program on HIV and AIDS which shall be endorsed by the PNAC Education Committee. The module may be modified based on the needs of the PNP upon consultation and approval of the PNAC Education Committee;

6) Information, education and social support programs shall foster a spirit of understanding and compassion for people with HIV infection/AIDS as well as their families;

7) PNP HS personnel shall undergo HIV/AIDS training including training in counseling given by DOH and/or DOH-accredited and/or recognized HIV/AIDS advocacy the NGOs as part of the units' Annual Training Program;

8) The PNP shall ensure that self-learning information materials such as booklets, leaflets, flyers, manuals and the like are made available to PNP personnel; and

9) The PNP shall ensure widest dissemination of HIV and AIDS information to its personnel. CSaHDT

b. Health Care Benefits, Services and Funding

1) Basic health care benefits and services shall be accorded to all PNP personnel and their families and dependents with or suspected to have HIV infection, without prejudice to optimum medical care which may be provided by special AIDS wards and hospitals;

2) PNP personnel with HIV infection/AIDS shall be referred to available confidential counseling care facilities and support services if the PNP HS facilities cannot support such services;

3) No PNP personnel with or suspected of having HIV infection shall be denied health care services in any of the PNP health facilities;

4) The PNP General Hospital (PNPGH) and Dispensary personnel are encouraged to use universally accepted precautionary measures to effectively protect themselves and their patients from blood-borne infections including HIV infection;

5) The PNP shall ensure the prompt release of death benefits for families, especially HIV-positive orphans of PNP personnel;

6) Reimbursement of medical expenses related to the diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS shall be filed with the PNP HIV/AIDS Committee (PHAC) which shall then endorse the same to the PNP HS Reimbursement of Hospitalization Expense (RHE) Section under existing rules and guidelines. Medical confidentiality shall apply in the documents submitted for RHE;

7) The PNP shall encourage health care-seeking behavior for PNP personnel with or at risk of STI infections including HIV and AIDS, avoiding coercive measures to equitable care and treatment. Examples of which are Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) and Provider-Initiated Confidential Counseling and Testing (PICCT) for HIV;

8) The PNP through the PNP HS shall strictly comply with the provisions of Section 30 of RA No. 8504, which reads as follows:

"Section 30. Medical Confidentiality. — All health professionals, medical instructors, workers, employers, recruitment agencies, insurance companies, data encoders and other custodians of any medical record, file data or test result are directed to strictly observe confidentiality in the handling of all medical information, particularly the identity and status of persons with HIV."

9) The PNP shall allocate funds for the STI, HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Program. Gender and Development (GAD) funds may additionally be used pursuant to CSC Announcement No. 21 s. 2010; and

10) The PNP shall allocate funds to provide appropriate protective equipment to PNP health care providers handling blood and other body fluids in the hospital and dispensaries to prevent infectious disease exposure particularly HIV and AIDS.

c. Recruitment, Promotion, Assignment and TPPD

1) Compulsory HIV Testing shall not be required as a pre-condition to recruitment, appointment, promotion, assignment and schooling; SECHIA

2) The PNP shall provide reasonable assignment accommodations for HIV-positive PNP personnel upon the recommendation of the duly authorized medical officer;

3) PNP personnel with HIV infection who are otherwise healthy should be treated the same way as any other worker. PNP personnel with HIV-related illness, including AIDS, should be treated the same way as any other worker with an illness, and shall have equal access to social services and opportunities;

4) No PNP personnel shall be separated from the service based solely on actual, perceived or suspected HIV status;

5) PNP Uniformed personnel in the late sieges or advance stage of HIV infection or AIDS may apply for TPPD, subject to existing guidelines and procedures;

6) The PNP shall ensure non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing attitudes among its personnel toward co-workers with actual, perceived and suspected HIV/AIDS; and

7) PNP personnel living with HIV and AIDS are encouraged to inform and/or disclose to any medical officer or physician their HIV and AIDS status, especially so, if their work activities and assignment may aggravate or increase the risk of HIV infection and transmission. However, responsible disclosure may be requested in the interest of public safety.

7. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

For this purpose, the PNP HIV and AIDS Committee (PHAC) is hereby created pursuant to Rule 3, Section 22 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA No. 8504 with modifications based on the needs of the PNP.

a. PHAC Scope

 The PHAC shall be a multi-disciplinary section directly under the Director, HS with monitoring, implementing, coordinating, assessing, evaluating, training, research and other project development functions on matters related to the diagnosis, management and care of STI, HIV and AIDS patients and the prevention and control of STI, HIV/AIDS infection in the HS and the PNP.

 There should be a separate HIV/AIDS Core Team under the Infection Control Committee of the PNPGH with scope and functions pursuant to Rule 3, Section 22 of the IRR of RA No. 8504.

b. PHAC Objectives

1) To facilitate the provision of safe, comprehensive and compassionate care to HIV/AIDS patients by properly trained personnel;

2) To mobilize the hospital and PNP resources towards minimizing the impact of HIV/AIDS infection on the patient and his family; IDSaAH

3) To coordinate all efforts to prevent and control the transmission of HIV/AIDS infection in the PNP;

4) To serve as the central section/committee in the entire PNP to handle HIV/AIDS concerns of the organization; and

5) To recommend policies and programs for the prevention and control of STI, HIV and AIDS.

c. PHAC Functions

1) Provide care and counseling to HIV/AIDS patients;

2) Promote prevention and control measures/strategies such as health education and hospital infection control;

3) Perform training and research activities on STI, HIV and AIDS;

4) Provide recommendations on hospital and Health Services planning and development related to HIV/AIDS;

5) Monitor compliance of ethico-moral guidelines for HIV/AIDS including confidentiality of records and reports and release of information;

6) Facilitate hospital reimbursement of personnel with HIV/AIDS;

7) Update records and submit reports to concerned offices;

8) Make annual report of its activities and accomplishments for submission to the C, PNP and DOH-PNAC every 2nd Monday of January;

9) Conduct monitoring and evaluation activities;

10) Assist and provide Medical Social Services;

11) Implement hospital guidelines on the comprehensive care and management of HIV/AIDS patients;

12) Facilitate inter and intra-departmental/agency coordination including referral system and networking;

13) Coordinate with the Philippine Aids Council for the monitoring, reporting and surveillance of HIV/AIDS status in the PNP; and

14) Perform other functions as directed by the C, PNP.

d. PHAC Composition

Director, Health Service - Chairman
Chief, Medical Service Division  - Vice Chairman
Chief, PNP General Hospital - Member
Chief, Medical RHS PROs 1-13, NCRPO, - Members
ARMM & COR    
Chief, Laboratory, PNPGH - Member
Chief, Dental Service Division - Member
Chief, Nursing Service Division - Member
Chief, NP Section - Member
Medical Social Worker - Member
DPRM representative - Member

e. PHAC Procedure

1) All personnel and their dependents suspected or confirmed to be HIV-positive shall be referred to PHAC; HEDSCc

2) Authorized medical officer of PHAC shall evaluate and refer personnel and/or their dependents for counseling services, and appropriate facilities for the treatment and care of HIV;

3) The PHAC shall exert efforts to conduct contact tracing for other possible contacts or exposure of the HIV-positive personnel;

4) The PHAC shall keep permanent records and monitor the health status of patients reported to PHAC;

5) PNP personnel under the PHAC shall seek clearance prior to re-assignment to other regions for the purpose of endorsement to the Regional Health Service for the continuation of health status monitoring; and

6) There shall only be one medical record for patients under PHAC. Aliases or symbols may be used to hide identity of patients.

8. Penalty Clause:

Any violation of the provisions of this Circular shall be a ground for administrative sanctions and criminal liability in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.

9. Effectivity:

This Circular shall take effect after fifteen (15) days from the filing of a copy hereof at the University of the Philippines Law Center in consonance with Sections 3 and 4 of Chapter 2, Book VII of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as "The Revised Administrative Code of 1987", as amended.

(SGD.) NICANOR A. BARTOLOME, CSEEPolice Director General Chief, Philippine National Police