Here we are again battling to end the stigma of HIV/AIDS that is commonly misinterpreted as equivalent to a death sentence. A sad fact that some Filipinos are still not equipped with knowledge about HIV cons that leads to misinterpretation and wrong notion.
In many rural areas, they perceived HIV as one reason of LGBTQ’s death without any proof and mainly believed only to hearsay. Even, adults believed that LGBTQ’s HIV case is a curse and someone living with it should suffer with retribution.
How would someone acquire HIV ?
Through unprotected sex between males accounts for over 80 percent of HIV transmissions in the country. Unprotected sex between heterosexuals follows at 12 percent. HIV is also transmitted through shared, infected needles and from
mother to fetus during pregnancy,tattoo and blood transfusion.
Is HIV deadly ?
YES, Having HIV could lead to the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a potentially deadly condition if untreated.
Is medicine free for HIV+?
Yes, but medicines can’t cure HIV. You can visit DOH website for more details or visit your local health centers for more information. Over 22,000 people living with HIV were enrolled in free anti-retroviral therapy (ART). This makes up 33 percent of the estimated total number of Filipinos with HIV, which is expected to rise to 67,000 by the end of the year. The DOH hopes 90 percent of HIV-positive Filipinos will take advantage of this free treatment by 2022.
Is there a group/organization that offers free HIV test/Counselling?
The Philippine government joined with other organizations like Love Yourself and The Red Whistle offer free and confidential HIV testing. Love Yourself provides tests in Mandaluyong, Pasay, and Manila, while The Red Whistle operates in Caloocan, Las Pinas, Mandaluyong, Manila, Makati, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasig, Paranaque, Pateros, Quezon City, Taguig, and Valenzuela.
HIV and AIDS should never be treated as a death sentence in fact people living with HIV can live longer and healthier with proper medication and positive outlook in life.
Let us know your individual rights;
LIVING WITH HIV – RA 8504 Section 2. Declaration of policies
- (b) The State shall extend to every person suspected or known to be infected with HIV/AIDS full protection of his/her human rights and civil liberties.
LIVING FREE OF HIV – RA 8504 Article III Section 14. Penalties for unsafe
- Practices and procedures. – Any person who knowingly or negligently causes another to get infected with HIV in the course of the practice of his/her profession through unsafe and unsanitary practice or procedure is liable to suffer a penalty of imprisonment for six (6) years to twelve (12) years, without prejudice to the imposition of administrative sanctions.