The Department of Health (DOH) assured that HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome) related-services will remain available amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The DOH made the statement in time for the observance of World AIDS Day today, December 1.
“The government shall continue to provide quality HIV and AIDS-related services that are readily available including addressing conditions that aggravate the spread of HIV infection which include poverty, gender inequality, marginalization and ignorance,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in a statement.
“Despite the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should all remain focused and resolute in our mandate of preventing and reducing transmission,” he added.
In October, there were a total of 735 confirmed HIV-positive individuals. Ninety-six percent (704) were male, the DOH said.
“According to the DOH HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP), there are now a total of 81,169 HIV and AIDS cases reported from January 1984 to October 2020,” it added.
“Health workers, civil society organizations, people living with HIV, and various agencies all play a vital role in eliminating stigma and discrimination, as well as providing accessible testing, treatment, care and support for People Living with HIV,” said Duque.