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Do you or anyone you know want to be tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) but would rather not let anyone know? At present, only one percent of the general population have been tested for HIV since most people are afraid to ask for help or simply do not know where to get information.

 

HIV may be contracted through the following:

• Blood transfusion

• Needle-sharing

• Mother-child transmission

• Unprotected sexual contact

 

“TxtHIV to 8504” campaign, a first of its kind SMS-based information, counselling, and clinic referral drive in Asia is here for those who are at risk or vulnerable to HIV.

 

This is currently available for Globe Postpaid and Prepaid mobile subscribers. The text service is provided for free to Globe users for one year.

 

How can you get tested?

1. Simply text HIV to 8504

2. Answer five yes or no questions via an interactive voice recording (IVR) to check if testing is necessary.

3. You will be provided with contact details and addresses of the nearest specialist accredited health centers where they can go for assessment, counselling, and immediate treatment.

 

Don’t worry, the use of IVR ensures that all calls remain very impersonal and confidential.

 

PHANSuP spearheads TxtHIV to 8504 together with the Philippine National Aids Council, Globe, S&S Technologies, and local health programs of the cities of Manila, Pasay, Pasig, and Quezon. Currently, it’s only available in Metro Manila but, soon, it will be available nationwide.

 

According to research:

• The Philippines is one of the seven countries in the world which are experiencing a steady increase in the number of HIV cases.

• The Philippines received 12 new cases of HIV daily in 2013 from only one case in 2009, with 95% of them involving males.

• Since 1984, 17, 450 Filipinos have been reported with HIV, 1,599 of them have progressed into AIDS.

 

By widening awareness about HIV and encouraging people to get tested, the campaign would be able to contribute to the country’s efforts of halting or reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015 in line with the UN Millennium Development Goal 6.