Issue of May 14, 2017
     
NEWS
Abra
Benguet
Ifugao
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2016
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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More gov’t–run HIV testing centers open in Cordillera
by PIA–CAR

The Department of Health calls for a more vigorous voluntary HIV testing in the different provinces in the Cordillera throughout the month. 

In observance of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial and in line with the National HIV Testing Week, the DOH-CAR will be conducting free HIV testing in various hospitals, rural health units, and social hygiene clinics in the region.

The HIV testing centers will be at opened for the whole month from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center and the City Health Services social hygiene clinic in Baguio City; the Bangued RHU and the Abra Provincial Hospital in Abra; the Mankayan RHU in Benguet; Tabuk RHU in Kalinga; and the Bontoc RHU in Mountain Province.

In Ifugao, testing centers will also be opened at the Panopdopan District Hospital in Lamut, the Aguinaldo People’s Hospital in Aguinaldo, and Lagawe Municipal Health Office in Lagawe.

In Apayao, testing centers will be available at the Far North Luzon General Hospital in Luna, Apayao District Hospital in Kabugao and Santa Marcela District Hospital in Santa Marcela.

The City Health Services Office will collaborate with a non-government organization for the conduct of an HIV testing at the Malcolm Square People’s Park on May 23 and 24.

Trained healthcare personnel and counselors will be stationed at the different HIV testing centers to ensure that the testing process will be done correctly.

The public is encouraged to take part of the HIV testing, but those who are 18 years old and below should have consent from their parents or guardians before undertaking the procedure. Under Republic Act 8504 or the Philippines Comprehensive Prevention and Control Act of HIV/AIDS, HIV testing should be done on a voluntary basis.

The AIDS Candlelight Memorial aims to bring heightened attention and active public support in addressing the alarming HIV incidence in the country. The 2017 AIDS Candlelight Memorial has the theme “Ending AIDS together.”

On May 25, Baguio City will commemorate the candlelight memorial with a parade of the different sectors advocating AIDS awareness from the local government unit, government agencies, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders along Session Road and will be converge at the People’s Park for the program and candlelight ceremony.

Data from the DOH shows that there were 849 new HIV antibody sero-positive individuals reported to the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines last February. This is 13 percent higher compared to the same period last year with 751. Eighty-nine percent of them were asymptomatic at the time of reporting. Ninety-five were male. The median age was 28 years old (age range: one year to 64 years). More than half belong to the 25 to 34 age group while 30 percent were youth aged 15 to 24 years old.

The regions with the most number of reported cases were National Capital Region with 310 cases (37 percent), Region 4A with 129 cases (15 percent), Region 3 with 102 cases (12 percent), Region 7 with 79 cases (nine percent), and Region 11 with 52 cases (six percent).

Cordillera has so far recorded 307 patients of HIV-AIDS to date.


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