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As HIV diagnoses in Baguio rise sharply, an advocacy group issues a warning.
A growing number of cases of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been reported in this summer capital, prompting concern from the city’s AIDS advocacy group.
Dr. Celiaflor Brillantes, assistant city health officer and action officer of the city’s AIDS Watch Council (AWC), stated in a phone interview on Wednesday that there were 544 current cases as of August 2022.
Based on earlier statistics provided by the city’s Health Services Office, this represents a significant increase from the 122 active cases reported in May of this year (HSO).
When the HSO decided to restart providing free HIV testing by setting up booths at public events and locations, a significant increase in cases was seen throughout the epidemic.
Brillantes stated in a previous interview that according to HSO data, 13 more new cases were found to be “reactive” during the Baguio Flower Festival in 2022.
Measures should be taken, she urged, to stop the cases from rising further.
To execute the policies and guidelines for an enhanced approach to testing, treatment, and monitoring for HIV AIDS through a program implementation assessment, strategic planning, and implementing rules and regulations, the AWC, under the HSO, wants the guidelines to be finalized (IRR).
The proposal also calls for the construction of treatment hubs.
The AWC is a multi-sectoral organization that works to spread knowledge of the disease and is made up of officials from the local administration and the commercial sector. Currently, Mayor Benjamin Magalong serves as its chair.
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