CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, May 13 (PIA) -- Department of Health (DOH) remains focused in its efforts to prevent and reduce the transmission of HIV amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of February 2021, Central Luzon remains to be the third with the most number of reported HIV cases in the country, with about 8,391 cumulative cases from 1984 (10 percent of the national epidemic).
Regional HIV Program Manager Joseph Michael Manlutac emphasized the importance of responsiveness of the health sector and the community for streamlined program implementation.
"As HIV is one of the essential public health programs that needs to continue with COVID-19, we are innovating ways to improve our approaches in testing, treatment, viral suppression, and cutting across our prevention strategies. Hence, we also urge the community to be proactive in availing the free services that we are offering for HIV Testing and Treatment," he said.
Those who seek access points to HIV Services in Central Luzon may visit: bit.ly/CLIamKonekted.
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The event aims to commemorate the lives of people who lost against AIDS-related illnesses, to show support to the People living with HIV and to emphasize multi-sectoral commitment in program implementation.
"This serves as a significant platform to raise social consciousness and show solidarity in breaking down the barriers of stigma and discrimination thus giving hope to new generations," DOH Regional Director Corazon Flores said.
This year's observance carries the theme "We Remember. We Take Action. We Live Beyond HIV. We Support HIV and COVID-19 Warriors".
It is an advocacy for People Living with HIV, COVID-19 patients and health care workers as necessary actions are taken in promoting awareness and understanding of these diseases.
"This candlelight memorial shall serve as a great reminder of hope and inspiration for all of us, that amidst the adversities, there is indeed life after HIV and COVID-19. This is also an opportunity for all of us to be together, all sectors with one vision, in fighting these two epidemics," Flores furthered. (CLJD-PIA 3)