/ 20 March 2023

SENATE Committee on Health and Demography Chairman Christopher “Bong” Go is concerned about the alarming increase in cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in the country, especially among young people.

Go said that there is sufficient funding to raise awareness and fight the spread of HIV and AIDS but there is a need for more interventions to better address possible gaps in the implementation of the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act.

“Ang apela ko po – bilang chairperson po ng Committee on Health, at miyembro rin po ako, ex-officio member po ako ng Philippine National AIDS Council – to come up with a strategic plan to address the gaps in the implementation of the HIV law,” he said.

According to the Department of Health, 1,454 new HIV cases were recorded in January 2023 alone, an average of 46 new cases per day.

Of the number, 86 cases were among 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,” Go said.

The government has allocated a budget of P1.433 billion to address HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, with P590 million allocated in 2022, the senator said.

In the proposed budget for 2023, P43 million was allotted to the Philippine National AIDS Council, which was increased to P52 million in the approved General Appropriations Act.

“May sapat na pondo po na labanan po itong paglaganap nitong sakit na AIDS,” Go said.