Intensified info drive on HIV/AIDS sought

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Health experts of Baguio are seeking an intensified education and information dissemination on human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) as cases are increasing.

City health officials said the number of newly diagnosed cases logged in the country’s HIV/AIDS and ART (anti-retroviral treatment) Registry showed daily increases.

Records showed that in 2011, six persons were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS daily, 21 in 2015 and 35 in 2019.

There are 50 cases recorded so far, this year.

Celia Flor Brillantes, officer-in-charge of the Baguio City health office, raised the need for an intensified anti-HIV/AIDS campaign during the recent AIDS Watch Council.

Brillantes said the HIV-infected and vulnerable population should be tested, diagnosed and enrolled in the ART to lower and suppress viral load for people living with HIV or PLHIVs.

The ART is a medical regimen that reduces and keeps the amount of virus under control to prevent transmission.

The HIV-vulnerable population consists of men having sex with men, transgender women, female sex workers, people who use or inject drugs and persons deprived of liberty as well as women and children.

Data showed that not all key populations have access to preventive services or are practicing protective behavior, Brillantes said.

She said that not all PLHIVs were diagnosed, and not all diagnosed PLHIVs are on life-saving ART.

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