MANILA- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said Wednesday it regretted disclosing the HIV status of one of 11 men who were arrested in a drug bust.
The group was allegedly caught using the party drug butyrolactone at a hotel in the Bonifacio Global City earlier this week.
"PDEA has expressed regret in the inadvertent mention during a recent press conference that one of the suspects, though his identity was withheld, is infected with HIV. We may have gone overboard by violating his right to privacy," PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said in a statement.
Aquino said it was not PDEA's intention to discriminate against people living with HIV.
"In our ardent desire to issue a warning that organized passion parties spiked with illegal drugs and involving male-to-male sexual partners may contribute to the high prevalence of HIV infections in the country, we have disregarded the context of privacy," Aquino said.
"It was never our intention to be insensitive and discriminatory against people with HIV," he said.