According to the recent report of the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) of the Department of Health (DOH), in the month of August 2010 alone, there were 108 new HIV positive individuals confirmed, which is a 77% increase compared to the same period last year, 80% of whom are males having sex with other males (MSM). The total number of cases in 2010 is 1,048 and the total number of reported cases since 1984 is 5,472.
In 2007, there was one new case of HIV infection diagnosed each day. In 2009, there were two new cases each day. For 2010, there are more than four cases of HIV infection diagnosed each day. From 2007 there has been a shift in the predominant trend of sexual transmission of the virus from heterosexual contact (28%) to males having sex with males (72%).
Not enough people are being reached by information and services on HIV and AIDS. For example, among males who have sex with males, only 29% are being reached by services. Ideally, 80% of at-risk populations should be reached, if the country is to to attain Millennium Development Goal 6, which is to “halt and reverse the spread of HIV infection by 2015.”
To date, there is no cure for HIV infection and AIDS. As a vital part of treatment and care, HIV positive individuals are dependent on antiretroviral therapy to prevent them from progressing into AIDS. Currently, antiretroviral drugs or ARVs are being given for free to HIV positive individuals through the help of the Global Fund. But the supply is estimated to last only until 2012. Given the current trend in the HIV epidemic, ensuring an adequate supply of ARVs is a challenge that needs to be addressed by government as well as various sectors of society.
These are the facts that need our utmost attention. These are the parameters that could describe what’s in store for us in the coming years. It is inevitable that this current situation will help shape the kind of stigma that will develop in the general consciousness about HIV and AIDS. A lot of questions are being raised and we need to find viable solutions and options.
We need to “ACT”! We need to come together and act on the situation! It is not our government’s responsibility alone – let’s do our share!
We need to seriously take a look at prevention and see how we can promote it better. We need to help stop the spread of the virus! We need to take the initiative and ACT where we are. People living with HIV can be and might be our own flesh and blood. They can be our brothers, sisters, parents, relatives and friends. Or they could even be us.
A vital key to prevention is testing. The earlier you know your HIV status, the better chances for you to be able to take care of yourself and help prevent the spread of the virus. Only 7% of males who have sex with males have been tested for HIV within the past year, and know their status.
Project Headshot clinic in cooperation with Take The Test and AIDS Society Philippines (ASP) launches Project Head Shot Clinic: ACT, an HIV and AIDS awareness campaign that promotes HIV testing. This project is part of the World AIDS Campaign, in partnership with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Know the facts about HIV and AIDS.
Know your status.
Take the Test!
For more information on Project Headshot Clinic: ACT, please refer to the link below:
For information on other non-governmental organizations that are doing the same efforts please check out this link:
For listings of treatment hubs and Social Hygiene Clinics that offer free HIV testing please refer to this link:
For more information on HIV and AIDS please refer to the following local online websites: