ManilaMed Hospital is helping the public gain more awareness toward the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Citing a report from the Department of Health entitled “The Special Report: State of the Philippine HIV Epidemic 2016,” medical doctor Rontgene Solante of ManilaMEd’s Internal Medicine-Infectious Disease department, said about 56,000 Filipinos are living with HIV/AIDS. If unchecked, the study projects that by 2022, the number will balloon to 142,000.
From 2007 to 2016, 49 percent of HIV/AIDS cases were men who habitually engaged in homosexual sex with either men or transgenders. In sharp contrast, between 1984 and 2007 at the height of HIV/AIDS scare, a mere 19 percent of positive cases were caused by sexual activity between men. Perhaps more alarming is from 2013 to 2015, 68 percent of diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases were from homosexual men between 15 to 24 years old.
However, the study estimates that 32 percent of HIV/AIDS cases go undiagnosed.
So ManilaMed recommends testing every six months for those who practice high-risk behavior because HIV/AIDS, when detected early, can be managed very effectively through antiretroviral therapy. The good news is that both testing and treatment are free at government hospitals.