MANILA, Philippines – A total of 113 Filipinos with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) have died between January and August this year.
HIV causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which has no known cure yet. Anti-retroviral therapy only slows down the ailment which destroys the human body’s immune system.
Cebu Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas declared support for the passage of a new AIDS Prevention which seeks to increase public funding and new strategies to suppress HIV spread.
“It has become absolutely imperative for Congress to establish highly aggressive new strategies to fight HIV. Every Filipino living with HIV also has to be assured of adequate treatment and long-term care, welfare assistance, and social protection,” Gullas said.
According to the lawmaker’s report, a total of 1,052 AIDS deaths have been recorded in the Philippines since 1984.
The number of reported AIDS deaths in the Philippines have been increasing from 68 in 2011, 176 in 2012 and 179 in 2013.
As of August, the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry has recorded 20,424 cases, 93 percent of whom were infected through sexual contact. The remaining cases were infected through needle-sharing among injecting drug users, mother-to-child transmission, contaminated blood transfusion and needle prick injury.
“Under the bill, a case-management mechanism will be in place for every person living with HIV. Affected families, including children orphaned by AIDS, will also be afforded ample care and support,” the lawmaker said.
The House Bill entitled “An act strengthening the Philippine comprehensive policy on HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support and establishinh the Philippine National HIV and AIDS program, revising for the purpose Republic Act 8504, otherwise known as the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998, and appropriating funds thereof” has already been approved by the appropriations committee.
(Source: Philippine Star)