In an article from Manilatimes.com, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported that the cases of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines increased to more than double in the past six years.
The UN recorded 10,500 HIV cases in the country in 2016, a far cry from a recorded 4,300 cases in 2010 resulting to the Philippines being one of eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region where HIV is becoming an issue.
irector of UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia-Pacific Eamonn Murphy said that the Philippines has little opportunities now to make any move in order to overcome the issue of the spreading of HIV.
He also added that if programs to stop the spread of the virus would be directed to the group of people who are deemed vulnerable to be infected with the virus and where they are located, the spread would completely be controlled.
The Philippines has improved its services for HIV victims particularly those who have contracted the virus.
Areas where the current strategy of the country’s health sector is focused on include Metro Manila and surrounding provinces, Cebu, Davao, Tagum, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Zamboanga, General Santos, Koronadal, Butuan, Iloilo, Bacolod, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Naga, Lucena, Angeles, Mabalacat, Tarlac, San Fernando Cabanatuan, Olongapo and Baguio. These cities and provinces have been identified as high-risk areas of HIV/AIDS cases where 80% of the newly reported infections originated.
The mission of the strategy is to open at least one HIV clinic in areas where cases are high and provide preventive measures, counseling, laboratory workup, and treatment services.
On the other hand, the Department of Health (DOH) has been giving out free antiretroviral (ARV) medicines to HIV patients and to outpatient services up to P30,000 per person each year.
This year, the government increased its budget allocation for HIV programs this year to P900 million.