Rappler Talk: Curbing the HIV epidemic in PH
MANILA, Philippines - The final Millennium Development Goals (MDG) report released by the United Nations (UN) in July 2015 showed that globally, new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections declined by about 40% between 2000 and 2013.
But this is not the case for the Philippines.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Philippines has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world. In July 2015, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that around 22 Filipinos get HIV everyday. In Western Visayas alone, a person is diagnosed with HIV everyday. (READ: INFOGRAPHIC: HIV epidemic in the Philippines)
It’s a problem that cuts across the different sectors of the country. While men having sex with men (MSMs) are the most prone to contracting the disease, the number of babies and women infected with the disease is also on the rise.
WHO challenged the Philippine government to ramp up its response to the HIV situation in the country in terms of funding and raising awareness. But the government alone cannot solve the problem.
What can the public do to help curb the rising HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Philippines? What needs to change in terms of how we perceive the virus? What should you do if you test positive for HIV?
Rappler talked to representatives of LoveYourself - a community of volunteers that aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among the youth and key affected population through awareness, counseling and education - and The Red Whistle - a collaborative platform for artists/individuals/groups to come together and show their support against HIV and AIDS - to discuss what Filipinos can do to curb the epidemic.
- Ronnievinn Pagtakhan is the founder and executive director of LoveYourself. He is a registered nurse in the Phillippines and the US, and a graduate of the University of the Philippines Manila.
- Evan Tan is the administrative head of The Red Whistle. Aside from his work with the advocacy, he is also the Regional Director for Southeast Asia of Freelancer.com, the world's largest freelancing marketplace.
Watch the discussion here. - Rappler.com
#StayNegatHIVe is MovePH's HIV/AIDS awareness campaign spearheaded by our communities across the Philippines, and held in partnership with DM9 and LoveYourself.