This paper focuses on the ethical dilemmas being faced by the Remedios AIDS Foundation, an NGO that works to prevent the transmission of HIV and to reduce the impact of AIDS in the country. Three major ethical dilemmas it has to face are 1) Confidentiality, b) Research Ethics and, c) Objectivity. The Philippines still has a relatively low incidence of HIV/AIDS affliction despite the fact that it has a large number of overseas workers involved in the entertainment business, exposing more and more Filipinos to the world of HIV/AIDS.
Introduction The Philippines is an archipelago located in Southeast Asia. As a developing country, it could hardly sustain the job needs of its populace. In effect, many Filipinos opt to work abroad. Most of these overseas workers are involved in the entertainment business. Despite this, however, the Philippines has one of the lowest rates of HIV infection in Asia. Based on statistics, this pervasiveness does not exceed one percent.
Although there are many American NGOs that are dealing with HIV/AIDS and its victims, this paper chose to cull an NGO from this Southeast Asian country for the following reasons: 1) Compared to the United States, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in this country is still minimal and thus, it will be interesting to note how NGOs deal with this problem; 2) Being the only largely Catholic country in Asia, it has certain moral codes and standards that may prove unfavorable to the solution of HIV/AIDS, and;
3) It has a large number of overseas workers that are, in one way or another, involved in the entertainment business, where HIV affliction has been mostly noted. While it is true that the country’s Department of Health has programs designed to help HIV/AIDS victims, it is the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have been at the forefront of the Philippines’ response to the HIV/AIDS problem in the country.
Their activities range from information dissemination, advocacy, education, and caring for HIV-infected patients, to behavioral and biomedical research. Many of these NGOs have benefited from the support of international donor agencies. One of these NGOs is the Remedios AIDS Foundation that manages its own AIDS Center’s programs and services. Established in 1991, it is people by committed staff and volunteers whose expertises are focused in various fields. Their common goal is to prevent transmission of HIV and to reduce the impact of AIDS in the country. Description of the Workplace Environment The Remedios AIDS Foundation has already implemented various programs to achieve its mission vision and goals.
Its priority clients are composed mostly of women, the sex industry worker and their clients, and adolescents. It also accepts men who have sex with men (MSM), and people living with HIV/AIDS-their families and friends. Although the first full-blown case of AIDS in the country was discovered more than two decades ago, to the largely Catholic population the HIV-afflicted person is still unacceptable. In other words, the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS victims is still enough to isolate him/her from society. Although the Remedios AIDS Foundation frequently conducts updates its data on this, Filipino HIV/AIDS victims are still more likely to shy away from outside help. In most cases, they prefer to suffer in silence with their family.
The irony here is that being a largely close-knit community, it is difficult to contain vital information such as HIV/AIDS affliction among certain groups of people, say for example an NGO. This is the main reason why HIV/AIDS victims are most likely to hesitate coming forward to seek for help. The Remedios AIDS Foundation suffers from this dilemma. Although it willing to help or assist HIV/AIDS victims from all over the country, the number of victims that visit its office is very minimal because the latter fear the stigma that is attached to being afflicted with this deadly disease. (de Bruyn 1988) In fact, it has often been said that HIV/AIDS thrives in an atmosphere of silence and secrecy (http://www. rho. org/html/hiv_aids_keyissues. html).