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DOH urges public to join fight vs HIV

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By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 2, 2015 - 12:00am Health Secretary Janette Garin said they have strengthened their partnership with other government agencies such as the Department of Education and community-based groups to boost public awareness about HIV/AIDS. Boy Santos/File photo

HIVMANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday urged the public not to be left out of the fight against human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) as part of the observance of World AIDS Day.

Health Secretary Janette Garin said they have strengthened their partnership with other government agencies such as the Department of Education and community-based groups to boost public awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Garin said they were reaching out to the younger generation, which is most vulnerable to infection.

Earlier, the DOH reported that some 133,000 Filipinos would acquire the AIDS virus by 2022, costing the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. some P4 billion yearly for the outpatient HIV treatment package alone.

Garin said this expenditure would increase each year unless the country is able to stop new HIV infections.

The DOH documented a total of 6,552 individuals diagnosed with HIV from January to October this year. The figure is 37 times higher than the 174 individuals diagnosed with HIV for the entire year in 2001.
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In 2000, one HIV case was diagnosed every three days. This year, one case has been detected every hour.

In a message for the World AIDS Day commemoration, United Nations Joint Program against HIV/AIDS executive director Michel Sidibé maintained that the world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“This ambitious yet wholly attainable objective represents an unparalleled opportunity to change the course of history forever –something our generation must do for the generations to come,” Sidibé said.

“Today, we live in fragile communities where inequities can persist when essential services don’t reach the people in need. To change this dynamic we must quicken the pace of action,” he added.

Sidibé said the world has what it takes “to break this epidemic and keep it from rebounding to prevent new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths and to eliminate HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

“We have reached 15.8 million people with life-saving treatment. And increasingly we are able to refine our efforts and be more precise in our ability to reach people who might otherwise be left behind,” he added.

Source: http://www.philstar.com

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