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New HIV testing centers open in the Philippines as HIV crisis worsens

New HIV testing centers open in the Philippines as HIV crisis worsens

a group of people pose for photo

More HIV testing centers have opened in the Philippines as the country struggles to curb the growing number of new cases.

Already this year there have been more than 7,600 new HIV diagnosis in the Philippines. The south-east Asian nation has experienced a 174% increase in new infections since 2010.

But now led by HIV advocacy organization, Love Yourself, Inc three new testing centers will open in the country. One new center will each open in Paranaque City, Manila and Cebu City.

‘This move aims to address the growing numbers of HIV infection among the youth and at risk populations,’ said LoveYourself founder and executive director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan.

Pagtakhan wanted to ‘instill into the minds of the youth’ the ways to prevent HIV. He wants to get the message across to get tested regularly.

Trans and cafe services

Trans people will also be able to access specialist services at the new centers. Aside from HIV testing, Lily by LoveYourself, in partnership with Decent Image of South Signal Association (DIOSSA), will also offer hormone replacement therapy and counseling from Wednesdays to Sundays..

LoveYourself is an organization mostly made up of volunteers who take multi-layered action on the HIV epidemic through promoting self-worth. It also promotes the ‘TSC concept’. TSC refers to the ‘timely testing and treatment, safe and satisfying sex, and correct and consistent use of condom’.

Philippines’ skyrocketing HIV cases have been described as a national emergency.

A new bill to restructure how the Philippines tackles prevention, testing, and treatment of HIV will replace the 20-year-old Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act. It is awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature before becoming law.

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