Advocacy groups launch HIV awareness app

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Save the Children last week launched a mobile application to help Filipinos access different testing and treatment centers in the country for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

In partnership with Red Whistle, Save the Children launched the Safely mobile application that provides directions to the nearest testing and treatment site for HIV/AIDS. Currently, the application is only available for Android devices with the iOS version arriving in December.

Red Whistle co-founder Niccolo Cosme said the app was made before Save the Children tied up with them for the project.

“The idea was already conceived before we were approached to help with the branding and the content,” he said.
“At the same time, there a lot about it that we think we can still further improve. This is an initial tryout,” Cosme added.

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He further said that they will visit campuses in the Manila, Taguig City, Makati and Quezon City to spread awareness on the app.

A report for the month of May from the HIV and AIDS Registry of the Philippines (HARP) revealed that 1,098 people were found to be affected by HIV/AIDS.

“This is the highest recorded cases ever since 1984,” the report said.

In a later report, it said that HIV/AIDS cases in the country more than doubled in the past six years, making the Philippines one of eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region where the virus continues to spread rapidly.

The Department of Health (DOH) provides free antiretroviral (ARV) medicines to anyone who tests positive for HIV/AIDS, as well as other outpatient services to a maximum of P30,000 a year per person.

Government funding has increased in the past years to boost the program to deal with HIV/AIDS. This year, the DOH allocated P900 million for the program.

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