Number of new HIV cases by month
Number of new HIV cases by month (2014-2016) *data from the HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines released by the Department of Health as of June 2016

The Scenario

The World Health Organization and Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS global reports (2012) named the Philippines one of the nine countries with very steep increase in the number of HIV/AIDS cases reported in the last ten years (15-49 years old bracket, more than 25% among vulnerable groups). The affected are considered as our economic backbone, the machinery that sustains the country’s national progress.

Until now, HIV is not curable, but we can prevent it from having a foothold in the lives of the young generation by providing them with the correct information about the infection, how it affects life, how it destroys the family, and how it creates health implications if left untreated and unmanaged.  

Number of newly diagnosed with HIV per day

As projected by the Department of Health (DOH), the increasing trend will remain in the coming years. The number of people living with HIV accessing antiretroviral drugs will also increase and further strain the national budget allocation for health, as ARV is a lifetime management. External help from international donors are dwindling, refocusing on nations with lesser capacity to allocate budget for HIV programmes. The impact to DOH’s national HIV programme and its sustainability is put on the line, whether we can work on meagre budget and focus on practical but effective interventions or increase budget allocation to cover all possible impactful interventions in exchange of cutting budget allocated to other health programmes. 

Dra. Stella Flores conducting HIV 101
Dra. Stella Flores, PSFI Project Officer handling the HIV/AIDS programme

Strengthening PSFI-LGU partnership

The partnership of Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) with the local government units (LGUs) was the missing link needed to finally take off from the tepid response of the business sector in HIV advocacy. Since the inception of the Philippine Business Sector Response (PBSR) to HIV/AIDS in 2009, the programme has only enjoyed sporadic success. In the middle of 2014, with the inclusion of PSFI as a member of the Local AIDS Council of LGUs, the programme took off, allowing it to yield better results and penetrate the business sector with lesser resistance. At the same time, the programme served as a bridge of the business sector to access health services offered by LGUs. 

Through the PSFI-LGU partnership, HIV 101 orientations were provided to 7,742 employees from 14 companies in 2015 alone. Out of the 7,742, 37% underwent HIV testing (the indicator for behavioural change expected for those who were given HIV 101). 

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