In January and February this year, 692 Filipinos aged 15 to 24 were diagnosed with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), according to the latest data from the Department of Health reported by Inquirer.net.
Last year, a total of 11,427 Filipinos were diagnosed as living with HIV, according to LoveYourself, an organization that conducts free HIV screenings and counseling, citing data from the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau.
As the number of HIV cases rise, different groups and individuals are pushing for HIV awareness, prevention, and education. On International Women’s Day, Miss Universe Catriona Gray wrote an open letter published through LoveYourself about the realities of HIV, urging people to get tested. “Whatever the outcome may be, I want to emphasize that HIV is just a status; it doesn’t define you as a woman, more so as a person.”
Recently, Taguig City announced its first-ever door-to-door HIV screening and counseling program through the Ready Test Go Initiative. HIV counselors will conduct free and confidential screenings around the city, from Mondays to Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. “The measure hopes to discover cases earlier, as well as reduce transmissions and infections. This is done through a comprehensive approach involving proper education, community-based screening, and effective treatment and support.”
Interested individuals can contact the Taguig Social Hygiene Clinic at 0915-9531389 or through Facebook.
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