Bong Go calls for stronger interventions vs rise in HIV, AIDS
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has called on the government to develop stronger mechanisms to address the alarming rate of Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV and AIDS) cases in the country, saying that there is “enough” funds in the national budget for effective interventions.
Go, who chairs the Senate committee on health, emphasized the need for more interventions to address the gaps in the implementation of the HIV and AIDS Policy Act in the country.
The senator made the statement on Sunday following the report of the Department of Health where 1,454 new HIV cases were recorded in January 2023 alone, with an average of 46 new cases per day.
According to him, he is even more concerned that 86 of these cases were adolescents and children, with seven cases reported in children less than 10 years old.
“Nakakabahala po ito… lalo na ‘yung mga naapektuhan ngayon ay 19 years old and younger. Ang babata pa nito. May less than ten years old pa na seven cases (This is alarming… especially those affected now are 19 years old and younger. These ones are still young. There are seven cases less than ten years old),” Go said.
Go then said that the government should “come up with a strategic plan to address the gaps in the implementation of the HIV law.”
He also highlighted that the government has set aside P1.433 billion for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, with P590 million allocated in 2022.
He also said that the Philippine National AIDS Council was allocated P43 million in the proposed budget for 2023 and was increased to P52 million in the approved General Appropriations Act.
“May sapat na pondo po na labanan itong paglaganap nitong sakit na AIDS,” Go noted.
(There are enough funds to fight the spread of AIDS.)
The senator encouraged everyone to take responsibility for their own health and well-being, and the health of their fellow Filipinos. He also urged the public to support efforts in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS. – Meralyn Melitante, trainee
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