The Department of Health (DOH) assured that the Philippines has enough supply of medicines needed for the treatment of those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The DOH has secured stocks of antiretroviral drugs for HIV up until next year. There is also an ongoing procurement for this drug so we won’t have any shortages,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing.
The Health official made the pronouncement as the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that access to antiretroviral medicines for HIV has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
The WHO in a statement said that “73 countries have warned that they are at risk of stock-outs of antiretroviral medicines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Countries and their development partners must do all they can to ensure that people who need HIV treatment continue to access it,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“We cannot let the COVID-19 pandemic undo the hard-won gains in the global response to this disease,” he added.
Based on the recent data from the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau, there were 2,818 newly confirmed HIV-positive individuals reported from January to March of this year.
“The first case of HIV infection in the Philippines was reported in 1984. Since then, there have been 77,625 confirmed HIV cases reported,” the DOH data stated.