|HIV/AIDS orientation conducted among Philippine Information Agency employees by the Quezon City Government.|
The Philippines has been reported to be one of the fastest growing worldwide in terms of rate of increase in infections of HIV/AIDS with a reported 56,275 cumulative cases since 1984 by the Department of Health AIDS Registry. The same data shows, however, that the Philippines is also a low-HIV-prevalence country, with less than 0.1 percent of the adult population estimated to be HIV-positive.
According to Quezon City Public Health Department Medical Officer Dr. Angel Mendoza, the increase in the Philippines’ yearly status on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases rise to about 170 percent. As of November 2018, approximately one to two Filipinos are diagnosed as positive in an hour. The medical practitioner conducted an HIV/AIDS orientation to employees of the Philippine Information Agency courtesy of its Human Resource and Development Division.
Mendoza said the city’s high percentages of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) are those in the age range of 15-24 year old.
“These are mostly students and those working in different industries,” he said, adding that they may be prone to experience discriminatory acts in the workplace, in their learning institutions, and even while availing some form of insurance coverage, simply because the level of awareness of some individuals are still on the low side.
He said the fight against HIV/AIDS has been made more difficult due to the latest industrial developments like easier access to social media that may have contributed to an increased number of unprotected sex and eventually, to the virus spread.
The irresponsible sharing of some social media posts online also contributes to the confusion as commonly read HIV-related stigma content relating to HIV transmission, as well as hoax medicinal remedies to HIV/AIDS can be easily shared.
These are the kinds of information we would want to contain and stop from disseminating, he said.
Mendoza said being misinformed about HIV such as its symptoms, prevention, and treatment may contribute to the rapid spread of infection among the young population.
The official shared that in the Philippines, Quezon City has the highest number of PLHIV diagnosed garnering 64 percent, followed by Caloocan City with 7 percent.
“The only way to know your status is to get tested. HIV testing is recommended as a standard care for all sexually active individual to ensure HIV prevention as well as immediate treatment and care,” Mendoza said.