City officials are fine-tuning the implementing rules and guidelines of the HIV-AIDS Prevention Ordinance as data show that apart from the increase in cases, not all key and vulnerable population have access to preventive services.
Among concerns raised about HIV-AIDS cases in the city is are: not all people are practicing protective behavior, not all people living with HIV are diagnosed, and not all diagnosed PLHIVs are on life-saving anti-retroviral treatment, Acting City Health Officer Celia Flor Brillantes said.
An ART is a medical regimen which reduces and keeps the amount of virus under control, and helps keep a PLHIV healthy.
The Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) of the City Health Services Office, representatives of Balay Marvi, the Baguio Association of Night Spots, Philippine Association of Medical Technologists, Family Planning Organization of the Philippines, Transcend, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, People With Disability Affairs Office, and other concerned agencies are currently meeting for the finalization of the IRR.
Committee chair on health and sanitation, ecology and environmental concerns Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda and Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales as committee chair on the youth also attends the meetings for the finalization of the IRR.
Pending this, an aggressive information campaign is being done by the RHWC, with calls for HIV-AIDS testing especially for key and vulnerable population like men having sex with men or with women or both men and women, transgender women, female sex workers, people who use/inject drugs, and the young population.
Brillantes added efforts are extended to persuade key and vulnerable population to be tested, properly diagnosed and enrolled in anti-retroviral treatment. – Julie G. Fianza