THE Philippine Red Cross (PRC) reported that there were five blood donors who are college students found out to be positive of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 2018.
Davao City Aids Council (DCAC)-PRC Building Recruitment Officer Rizh Abellano said during the Ispeak media forum on Thursday, November 29, that these cases were already forwarded to alliance Against Aids (Alagad) in Mindanao for counseling and medication.
"One of the qualifications for blood donors is 18 and above so they are mostly college students already," Abellano said.
He further said that since they coordinate with organizations concerned with HIV cases, some people would only donate blood through PRC to know their HIV status which should not be.
"Blood donation should not be a means of HIV testing as some people would only want to donate blood to know whether they have HIV," Abellano said, adding that the purpose of blood donation is only to save lives so those who are found out to be positive of HIV will be forwarded to the concerned organization.
"From the donors, we have to make sure that they do not have risky practices," he said.
Meanwhile, Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) head Jordana Ramiterre explained that the PRC cannot directly give results as they are not authorized to do so.
"You cannot encourage na ang PRC ay maging testing center," Ramiterre said.
She further said that with the upcoming 30th World Aids Day, the public should know their status by getting tested for HIV infection in the designated centers and not through blood donation under PRC.
PRC also recorded 13 HIV positive individuals in 2017.