The Department of Health (DOH) advised the public that disclosing any information about a person with HIV or AIDS without consent is illegal.

The Health Department made this statement following lawyer Larry Gadon’s statement in a radio program that the late former President Benigno Aquino III died of HIV.

Republic Act 11166 or the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act ensures the confidentiality and privacy of anyone tested or treated for, exposed to, or has HIV- and AIDS-related illnesses.

“It shall then be unlawful to disclose, without written consent, information that a person has AIDS, has undergone HIV-related test, has HIV infection or HIV-related illnesses, or has been exposed to HIV,” the DOH said.

“We would like to warn and remind everyone that disclosure of confidential information, such as HIV status is illegal and they can be charged in accordance with law. Violators are liable to criminal, administrative, and civil sanctions and penalties,” it added.

Gadon trended on social media after his unfounded claim that Aquino succumbed to HIV.

However, the Aquino family said that the former president died of renal disease secondary to diabetes.

The Red Whistle, an HIV advocacy group, said that they are planning to file a disbarment suit against Gadon. Ronald Espartinez