The Manila’s city health department is now offering free human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing and treatment to all its residents.
As the number of HIV cases in the country rapidly increase, Dr. Benjamin Yson, officer-in-charge of the Manila Health Department (MHD), said the city government has recently procured antiretroviral (ARV) medicines that control HIV infection and stop the progression of the disease.
“Patients who will be diagnosed with HIV will be given treatment including Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs,” Yson said.
Based on the HIV/AIDS Registry of the Department of Health (DOH), there are 841 new HIV cases in the country for the month of June alone, 103 of which have developed into full-blown AIDS. This number was the highest ever recorded in a single month since 1984, when HIV was first detected in the country.
Of the 841 cases, 92 percent were acquired through sexual transmissions, mainly by MSM.
According to Yson, MHD has been conducting HIV/AIDS information drive as well as encouraging the interested residents to undergo HIV testing in all barangays in Manila.
The free HIV tests and treatment are being conducted at the Manila Social Hygiene Clinic in Sta. Cruz.
(Betheena Kae Unite)