Less than 1/3 of HIV cases get treatment-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
LESS than one-third of the recorded human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases in the Philippines undergo treatment, a recent study said.
The country has recorded almost 15,000 cases of HIV cases but those undergoing Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) are only less than 5,000, according to the August 2013 Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry Report.
“As of August, there are 4,645 people with HIV presently on ART in the 17 treatment hubs nationwide,” said the DOH.
The list does not include those that died, left the country, or opted to stop taking the ART, it noted. (Want to know more about HIV? Read this.)
Since 1984 until August 2013, there are already 14,856 cases HIV cases reported with 827 already dead. (See related story here.)
Based on the latest guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), it encourages an earlier provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to HIV patients.
Under the new recommendations, all countries are encouraged to initiate ARTs in adults living with HIV when their CD4 cell count falls to 500 cells/mm³ or less or “when their immune systems are still strong."
This is different from the 2010 WHO recommendation, which was to offer treatment at 350 CD4 cells/mm³ or less.
Meanwhile, the Health department reported that 191 blood units confirmed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) have been found positive of HIV this year alone.
“These are confirmed blood units, not blood donors. One donor can donate more than one blood unit,” said the DOH report.
The month of April had the highest number of HIV-contaminated blood units with 30 followed by the 28 each of March and July. (HDT/Sunnex)