Monday, September 22, 2008
Section 1. Title. — This Act shall be known as the "Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998."
Sec. 2. Declaration of policies. — Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that recognizes no territorial, social, political and economic boundaries for which there is no known cure. The gravity of the AIDS threat demands strong State action today, thus:
(a) The State shall promote public awareness about the causes, modes of transmission, consequences, means of prevention and control of HIV/AIDS through a comprehensive nationwide educational and information campaign organized and conducted by the State. Such campaigns shall promote value formation and employ scientifically proven approaches, focus on the family as a basic social unit, and be carried out in all schools and training centers, workplaces, and communities. This program shall involve affected individuals and groups, including people living with HIV/AIDS.
(b) The State shall extend to every person suspected or known to be infected with HIV/AIDS full protection of his/her human rights and civil liberties. Towards this end:
(1) compulsory HIV testing shall be considered unlawful unless otherwise provided in this Act;
(2) the right to privacy of individuals with HIV shall be guaranteed;
(3) discrimination, in all its forms and subtleties, against individuals with HIV or persons perceived or suspected of having HIV shall be considered inimical to individual and national interest; and
(4) provision of basic health and social services for individuals with HIV shall be assured.(c) The State shall promote utmost safety and universal precautions in practices and procedures that carry the risk of HIV transmission.
(d) The State shall positively address and seek to eradicate conditions that aggravate the spread of HIV infection, including but not limited to, poverty, gender inequality, prostitution, marginalization, drug abuse and ignorance.
(e) The State shall recognize the potential role of affected individuals in propagating vital information and educational messages about HIV/AIDS and shall utilize their experience to warn the public about the disease.
Sec. 3. Definition of terms. — As used in this Act, the following terms are defined as follows:
(a) "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)" — a condition characterized by a combination of signs and symptoms, caused by HIV contracted from another person and which attacks and weakens the body's immune system, making the afflicted individual susceptible to other life-threatening infections.
(b) "Anonymous Testing" — refers to an HIV testing procedure whereby the individual being tested does not reveal his/her true identity. An identifying number or symbol is used to substitute for the name and allows the laboratory conducting the test and the person on whom the test is conducted to match the test results with the identifying number or symbol.
(c) "Compulsory HIV Testing" — refers to HIV testing imposed upon a person attended or characterized by the lack of or vitiated consent, use of physical force, intimidation or any form of compulsion.
(d) "Contact tracing" — refers to the method of finding and counselling the sexual partner(s) of a person who has been diagnosed as having sexually transmitted disease.
(e) "Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)" — refers to the virus which causes AIDS.
(f) "HIV/AIDS Monitoring" — refers to the documentation and analysis of the number of HIV/AIDS infections and the pattern of its spread.
(g) "HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control" — refers to measures aimed at protecting non-infected from contracting HIV and minimizing the impact of the condition of persons living with HIV.
(h) "HIV-positive" — refers to the presence of HIV infection as documented by the presence of HIV or HIV antibodies in the sample being tested.
(i) "HIV-negative" — denotes the absence of HIV or HIV antibodies upon HIV testing.
(j) "HIV Testing" — refers to any laboratory procedure done on an individual to determine the presence or absence of HIV infection.
(k) "HIV Transmission" — refers to the transfer of HIV from one infected person to an uninfected individual, most commonly through sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, sharing of intravenous needles and during pregnancy.
(l) "High-Risk Behavior" — refers to a person's frequent involvement in certain activities which increase the risk of transmitting or acquiring HIV.
(m) "Informed Consent" — refers to the voluntary agreement of a person to undergo or be subjected to a procedure based on full information, whether such permission is written, conveyed verbally, or expressed indirectly.
(n) "Medical Confidentiality" — refers to the relationship of trust and confidence created or existing between a patient or a person with HIV and his attending physician, consulting medical specialist, nurse, medical technologist and all other health workers or personnel involved in any counselling, testing or professional care of the former; it also applies to any person who, in any official capacity, has acquired or may have acquired such confidential information.
(o) "Person with HIV" — refers to an individual whose HIV test indicates, directly or indirectly, that he/she is infected with HIV.
(p) "Pre-Test Counselling" — refers to the process of providing an individual information on the biomedical aspects of HIV/AIDS and emotional support to any psychological implications of undergoing HIV testing and the test result itself before he/she is subjected to the test.
(q) "Post-Test Counselling" — refers to the process of providing risk-reduction information and emotional support to a person who submitted to HIV testing at the time that the test result is released.
(r) "Prophylactic" — refers to any agent or device used to prevent the transmission of a disease. (s) "Sexually Transmitted Diseases" — refers to any disease that may be acquired or passed on through sexual contact.
(t) "Voluntary HIV Testing" — refers to HIV testing done on an individual who, after having undergone pre-test counselling, willingly submits himself/herself to such test.
(u) "Window Period" — refers to the period of time, usually lasting from two weeks to six (6) months during which an infected individual will test "negative" upon HIV testing but can actually transmit the infection.
ARTICLE I EDUCATION AND INFORMATION
Sec. 4. HIV/AIDS education in schools. — The Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and skills Development Authority (TESDA), utilizing official information provided by the Department of Health, shall integrate instruction on the causes, modes of transmission and ways of preventing HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in subjects taught in public and private schools at intermediate grades, secondary and tertiary levels, including non-formal and indigenous learning systems: Provided, That if the integration of HIV/AIDS education is not appropriate or feasible, the DECS and TESDA shall design special modules on HIV/AIDS prevention and control: Provided, further, That it shall not be used as an excuse to propagate birth control or the sale or distribution of birth control devices: Provided, finally, That it does not utilize sexually explicit materials.
Flexibility in the formulation and adoption of appropriate course content, scope, and methodology in each educational level or group shall be allowed after consultations with Parent-Teachers-Community Associations, Private School Associations, school officials, and other interest groups. As such, no instruction shall be offered to minors without adequate prior consultation with parents who must agree to the thrust and content of the instruction materials.
All teachers and instructors of said HIV/AIDS courses shall be required to undergo a seminar or training on HIV/AIDS prevention and control to be supervised by DECS, CHED and TESDA, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), before they are allowed to teach on the subject.
Sec. 5. HIV/AIDS information as a health service. — HIV/AIDS education and information dissemination shall form part of the delivery of health services by health practitioners, workers and personnel. The knowledge and capabilities of all public health workers shall be enhanced to include skills for proper information dissemination and education on HIV/AIDS. It shall likewise be considered a civic duty of health providers in the private sector to make available to the public such information necessary to control the spread of HIV/AIDS and to correct common misconceptions about this disease. The training or health workers shall include discussions on HIV-related ethical issues such as confidentiality, informed consent and the duty to provide treatment.
Sec. 6. HIV/AIDS education in the workplace. — All government and private employees, workers, managers, and supervisors, including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), shall be provided with the standardized basic information and instruction on HIV/AIDS which shall include topics on confidentiality in the workplace and attitude towards infected employees and workers. In collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall oversee the anti-HIV/AIDS campaign in all private companies while the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the Director General of the PNP shall oversee the implementation of this Sec..
Sec. 7. HIV/AIDS education for Filipinos going abroad. — The State shall ensure that all overseas Filipino workers and diplomatic, military, trade, and labor officials and personnel to be assigned overseas shall undergo or attend a seminar on the cause, prevention and consequences of HIV/AIDS before certification for overseas assignment. The Department of Labor and Employment or the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Justice through the Bureau of Immigration, as the case may be, in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), shall oversee the implementation of this Sec..
Sec. 8. Information campaign for tourists and transients. — Informational aids or materials on the cause, modes of transmission, prevention, and consequences of HIV infection shall be adequately provided at all international ports of entry and exit. The Department of Tourism, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice through the Bureau of Immigration, in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), shall oversee the implementation of this Act.
Sec. 9. HIV/AIDS education in communities. — Local government units, in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), shall conduct an educational and information campaign on HIV/AIDS. The provincial governor, city or municipal mayor and the barangay captain shall coordinate such campaign among concerned government agencies, non-government organizations and church-based groups.
Sec. 10. Information on prophylactics. — Appropriate information shall be attached to or provided with every prophylactic offered for sale or given as a donation. Such information shall be legibly printed in English and Filipino, and contain literature on the proper use of the prophylactic device or agent, its efficacy against HIV and STD infection, as well as the importance of sexual abstinence and mutual fidelity.
Sec. 11. Penalties for misleading information. — Misinformation on HIV/AIDS prevention and control through false and misleading advertising and claims in any of the tri-media or the promotional marketing of drugs, devices, agents or procedures without prior approval from the Department of Health and the Bureau of Food and Drugs and the requisite medical and scientific basis, including markings and indications in drugs and devises or agents, purporting to be a cure or a fail-safe prophylactic for HIV infection is punishable with a penalty of imprisonment for two (2) months to two (2) years, without prejudice to the imposition of administrative sanctions such as fines and suspension or revocation of professional or business license.
ARTICLE II SAFE PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES
Sec. 12. Requirement on the donation of blood, tissue, or organ. — No laboratory or institution shall accept a donation of tissue or organ, whether such donation is gratuitous or onerous, unless a sample from the donor has been tested negative for HIV. All donated blood shall also be subjected to HIV testing and HIV(+) blood shall be disposed of properly and immediately. A second testing may be demanded as a matter of right by the blood, tissue, or organ recipient or his immediate relatives before transfusion or transplant, except during emergency cases: Provided, That donations of blood, tissue, or organ testing positive for HIV may be accepted for research purposes only, and subject to strict sanitary disposal requirements.
Sec. 13. Guidelines on surgical and similar procedures. — The Department of Health (DOH), in consultation and in coordination with concerned professional organizations and hospital associations, shall issue guidelines on precautions against HIV transmission during surgical, dental, embalming, tattooing or similar procedures. The DOH shall likewise issue guidelines on the handling and disposition of cadavers, body fluids or wastes of persons known or believed to be HIV-positive. The necessary protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and gowns, shall be made available to all physicians and health care providers and similarly exposed personnel at all times.
Sec. 14. Penalties for unsafe practices and procedures. — Any person who knowingly or negligently causes another to get infected with HIV in the course of the practice of his/her profession through unsafe and unsanitary practice or procedure is liable to suffer a penalty of imprisonment for six (6) years to twelve (12) years, without prejudice to the imposition of administrative sanctions such as, but not limited to, fines and suspension or revocation of the license to practice his/her profession. The permit or license of any business entity and the accreditation of hospitals, laboratory, or clinics may be cancelled or withdrawn if said establishments fail to maintain such safe practices and procedures as may be required by the guidelines to be formulated in compliance with Sec. 13 of this Act.
ARTICLE III TESTING, SCREENING AND COUNSELLING
Sec. 15. Consent as a requisite for HIV testing. — No compulsory HIV testing shall be allowed. However, the State shall encourage voluntary testing for individuals with a high risk for contracting HIV: Provided, That written informed consent must first be obtained. Such consent shall be obtained from the person concerned if he/she is of legal age or from the parents or legal guardian in the case of a minor or a mentally incapacitated individual. Lawful consent to HIV testing of a donated human body, organ, tissue, or blood shall be considered as having been given when:
(a) a person volunteers or freely agrees to donate his/her blood, organ, or tissue for transfusion, transplantation, or research;
(b) a person has executed a legacy in accordance with Sec. 3 of Republic Act No. 7170, also known as the "Organ Donation Act of 1991";
(c) a donation is executed in accordance with Sec. 4 of Republic Act No. 7170.
Sec. 16. Prohibitions on compulsory HIV testing. — Compulsory HIV testing as a precondition to employment, admission to educational institutions, the exercise of freedom of abode, entry or continued stay in the country, or the right to travel, the provision of medical service or any other kind of service, or the continued enjoyment of said undertakings shall be deemed unlawful.
Sec. 17. Exception to the prohibition on compulsory testing. — Compulsory HIV testing may be allowed only in the following instances:
a) When a person is charged with any of the crimes punishable under Articles 264 and 266 as amended by Republic Act No. 8353, 335 and 338 of Republic Act No. 3815, otherwise known as the "Revised Penal Code" or under Republic Act No. 7659;
b) When the determination of the HIV status is necessary to resolve the relevant issues under Executive Order No. 309, otherwise known as the "Family Code of the Philippines"; and
c) When complying with the provisions of Republic Act No. 7170, otherwise known as the "Organ Donation Act" and Republic Act No. 7719, otherwise known as the "National Blood Services Act".
Sec. 18. Anonymous HIV testing. — The State shall provide a mechanism for anonymous HIV testing and shall guarantee anonymity and medical confidentiality in the conduct of such tests.
Sec. 19. Accreditation of HIV Testing Centers. — All testing centers, hospitals, clinics, and laboratories offering HIV testing services are mandated to seek accreditation from the Department of Health which shall set and maintain reasonable accreditation standards.
Sec. 20. Pre-test and post-test counselling. — All testing centers, clinics, or laboratories which perform any HIV test shall be required to provide and conduct free pre-test counselling and post-test counselling for persons who avail of their HIV/AIDS testing services. However, such counselling services must be provided only by persons who meet the standards set by the DOH.
Sec. 21. Support for HIV Testing Centers. — The Department of Health shall strategically build and enhance the capabilities for HIV testing of hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and other testing centers primarily, by ensuring the training of competent personnel who will provide such services in said testing sites.
ARTICLE IV HEALTH AND SUPPORT SERVICES
Sec. 22. Hospital-based services. — Persons with HIV/AIDS shall be afforded basic health services in all government hospitals, without prejudice to optimum medical care which may be provided by special AIDS wards and hospitals.
Sec. 23. Community-based services. — Local government units, in coordination and in cooperation with concerned government agencies, non-government organizations, persons with HIV/AIDS and groups most at risk of HIV infection shall provide community-based HIV/AIDS prevention and care services.
Sec. 24. Livelihood programs and trainings. — Trainings for livelihood, self-help cooperative programs shall be made accessible and available to all persons with HIV/AIDS. Persons infected with HIV/AIDS shall not be deprived of full participation in any livelihood, self-help and cooperative programs for reason of their health conditions.
Sec. 25. Control of sexually transmitted diseases. — The Department of Health, in coordination and in cooperation with concerned government agencies and non-government organizations shall pursue the prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases to help contain the spread of HIV infection.
Sec. 26. Insurance for persons with HIV. — The Secretary of Health, in cooperation with the Commissioner of the Insurance Commission and other public and private insurance agencies, shall conduct a study on the feasibility and viability of setting up a package of insurance benefits and, should such study warrant it, implement an insurance coverage program for persons with HIV. The study shall be guided by the principle that access to health insurance is part of an individual's right to health and is the responsibility of the State and of society as a whole.
ARTICLE V MONITORING
Sec. 27. Monitoring program. — A comprehensive HIV/AIDS monitoring program or "AIDSWATCH" shall be established under the Department of Health to determine and monitor the magnitude and progression of HIV infection in the Philippines, and for the purpose of evaluating the adequacy and efficacy of the countermeasures being employed.
Sec. 28. Reporting procedures. — All hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and testing centers for HIV/AIDS shall adopt measures in assuring the reporting and confidentiality of any medical record, personal data, file, including all data which may be accessed from various data banks or information systems. The Department of Health through its AIDSWATCH monitoring program shall receive, collate and evaluate all HIV/AIDS related medical reports. The AIDSWATCH data base shall utilize a coding system that promotes client anonymity.
Sec. 29. Contact tracing. — HIV/AIDS contact tracing and all other related health intelligence activities may be pursued by the Department of Health: Provided, That these do not run counter to the general purpose of this Act: Provided, further, That any information gathered shall remain confidential and classified, and can only be used for statistical and monitoring purposes and not as basis or qualification for any employment, school attendance, freedom of abode, or travel.
ARTICLE VI CONFIDENTIALITY
Sec. 30. Medical confidentiality. — All health professionals, medical instructors, workers, employers, recruitment agencies, insurance companies, data encoders, and other custodians of any medical record, file, data, or test results are directed to strictly observe confidentiality in the handling of all medical information, particularly the identity and status of persons with HIV.
Sec. 31. Exceptions to the mandate of confidentiality. — Medical confidentiality shall not be considered breached in the following cases:
(a) when complying with reportorial requirements in conjunction with the AIDSWATCH programs provided in Sec. 27 of this Act;
(b) when informing other health workers directly involved or about to be involved in the treatment or care of a person with HIV/AIDS: Provided, That such treatment or care carry the risk of HIV transmission: Provided, further, That such workers shall be obliged to maintain the shared medical confidentiality;
(c) when responding to a subpoena duces tecum and subpoena ad testificandum issued by a Court with jurisdiction over a legal proceeding where the main issue is the HIV status of an individual: Provided, That the confidential medical record shall be properly sealed by its lawful custodian after being double-checked for accuracy by the head of the office or department, hand delivered, and personally opened by the judge: Provided, further, That the judicial proceedings be held in executive session.
Sec. 32. Release of HIV/AIDS test results. — All results of HIV/AIDS testing shall be confidential and shall be released only to the following persons:
(a) the person who submitted himself/herself to such test;
(b) either parent of a minor child who has been tested;
(c) a legal guardian in the case of insane persons or orphans;
(d) a person authorized to receive such results in conjunction with the AIDSWATCH program as provided in Sec. 27 of this Act;
(e) a justice of the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, as provided under subSec. (c) of this Act and in accordance with the provision of Sec. 16 hereof.
Sec. 33. Penalties for violations of confidentiality. — Any violation of medical confidentiality as provided in Sec.s 30 and 32 of this Act shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment for six (6) months to four (4) years, without prejudice to administrative sanctions such as fines and suspension or revocation of the violator's license to practice his/her profession, as well as the cancellation or withdrawal of the license to operate any business entity and the accreditation of hospitals, laboratories or clinics.
Sec. 34. Disclosure to sexual partners. — Any person with HIV is obliged to disclose his/her HIV status and health condition to his/her spouse or sexual partner at the earliest opportune time.
ARTICLE VII DISCRIMINATORY ACTS AND POLICIES
Sec. 35. Discrimination in the workplace. — Discrimination in any form from pre-employment to post-employment, including hiring, promotion or assignment, based on the actual, perceived or suspected HIV status of an individual is prohibited. Termination from work on the sole basis of actual, perceived or suspected HIV status is deemed unlawful.
Sec. 36. Discrimination in schools. — No educational institution shall refuse admission or expel, discipline, segregate, deny participation, benefits or services to a student or prospective student on the basis of his/her actual, perceived or suspected HIV status.
Sec. 37. Restrictions on travel and habitation. — The freedom of abode, lodging and travel of a person with HIV shall not be abridged. No person shall be quarantined, placed in isolation, or refused lawful entry into or deported from Philippine territory on account of his/her actual, perceived or suspected HIV status.
Sec. 38. Inhibition from public service. — The right to seek an elective or appointive public office shall not be denied to a person with HIV.
Sec. 39. Exclusion from credit and insurance services. — All credit and loan services, including health, accident and life insurance shall not be denied to a person on the basis of his/her actual, perceived or suspected HIV status: Provided, That the person with HIV has not concealed or misrepresented the fact to the insurance company upon application. Extension and continuation of credit and loan shall likewise not be denied solely on the basis of said health condition.
Sec. 40. Discrimination in hospitals and health institutions. — No person shall be denied health care service or be charged with a higher fee on account of actual, perceived or suspected HIV status.
Sec. 41. Denial of burial services. — A deceased person who had AIDS or who was known, suspected or perceived to be HIV-positive shall not be denied any kind of decent burial services.
Sec. 42. Penalties for discriminatory acts and policies. — All discriminatory acts and policies referred to in this Act shall be punishable with a penalty of imprisonment for six (6) months to four (4) years and a fine not exceeding Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00). In addition, licenses/permits of schools, hospitals and other institutions found guilty of committing discriminatory acts and policies described in this Act shall be revoked.
ARTICLE VIII THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL AIDS COUNCIL
Sec. 43. Establishment. — The Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) created by virtue of Executive Order No. 39 dated 3 December 1992 shall be reconstituted and strengthened to enable the Council to oversee an integrated and comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS prevention and control in the Philippines. It shall be attached to the Department of Health.
Sec. 44. Functions. — The Council shall be the central advisory, planning and policy-making body for the comprehensive and integrated HIV/AIDS prevention and control program in the Philippines. The Council shall perform the following functions:
(a) Secure from government agencies concerned recommendations on how their respective agencies could operationalize specific provisions of this Act. The Council shall integrate and coordinate such recommendations and issue implementing rules and regulations of this Act. The Council shall likewise ensure that there is adequate coverage of the following:
(1) The institution of a nationwide HIV/AIDS information and education program;
(2) The establishment of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS monitoring system;
(3) The issuance of guidelines on medical and other practices and procedures that carry the risk of HIV transmission;
(4) The provision of accessible and affordable HIV testing and counselling services to those who are in need of it;
(5) The provision of acceptable health and support services for persons with HIV/AIDS in hospitals and in communities;
(6) The protection and promotion of the rights of individuals with HIV; and
(7) The strict observance of medical confidentiality.(b) Monitor the implementation of the rules and regulations of this Act, issue or cause the issuance of orders or make recommendations to the implementing agencies as the Council considers appropriate;
(c) Develop a comprehensive long-term national HIV/AIDS prevention and control program and monitor its implementation;
(d) Coordinate the activities of and strengthen working relationships between government and non-government agencies involved in the campaign against HIV/AIDS;
(e) Coordinate and cooperate with foreign and international organizations regarding data collection, research and treatment modalities concerning HIV/AIDS; and
(f) Evaluate the adequacy of and make recommendations regarding the utilization of national resources for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines.
Sec. 45. Membership and composition. — (a) The Council shall be composed of twenty-six (26) members as follows:
(1) The Secretary of the Department of Health;
(2) The Secretary of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports or his representative;
(3) The Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education or his representative;
(4) The Director-General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or his representative;
(5) The Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment or his representative;
(6) The Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development or his representative;
(7) The Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government or his representative;
(8) The Secretary of the Department of Justice or his representative;
(9) The Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority or his representative;
(10) The Secretary of the Department of Tourism or his representative;
(11) The Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management or his representative;
(12) The Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs or his representative;
(13) The Head of the Philippine Information Agency or his representative;
(14) The President of the League of Governors or his representative;
(15) The President of the League of City Mayors or his representative;
(16) The Chairperson of the Committee on Health of the Senate of the Philippines or his representative;
(17) The Chairperson of the Committee on Health of the House of Representatives or his representative; (18) Two (2) representatives from organizations of medical/health professionals;
(19) Six (6) representatives from non-government organizations involved in HIV/AIDS prevention and control efforts or activities; and
(20) A representative of an organization of persons dealing with HIV/AIDS.
(b) To the greatest extent possible, appointment to the Council must ensure sufficient and discernible representation from the fields of medicine, education, health care, law, labor, ethics and social services;
(c) All members of the Council shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines, except for the representatives of the Senate and the House of Representatives, who shall be appointed by the Senate President and the House Speaker, respectively;
(d) The members of the Council shall be appointed not later than thirty (30) days after the date of the enactment of this Act;
(e) The Secretary of Health shall be the permanent chairperson of the Council; however, the vice-chairperson shall be elected by its members from among themselves, and shall serve for a term of two (2) years; and
(f) For members representing medical/health professional groups and the six (6) non-government organizations, they shall serve for a term of two (2) years, renewable upon recommendation of the Council.
Sec. 46. Reports. — The Council shall submit to the President and to both Houses of Congress comprehensive annual reports on the activities and accomplishments of the Council. Such annual reports shall contain assessments and evaluation of intervention programs, plans and strategies for the medium- and long-term prevention and control program on HIV/AIDS in the Philippines.
Sec. 47. Creation of Special HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Service. — There shall be created in the Department of Health a Special HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Service staffed by qualified medical specialists and support staff with permanent appointment and supported with an adequate yearly budget. It shall implement programs on HIV/AIDS prevention and control. In addition, it shall also serve as the secretariat of the Council.
Sec. 48. Appropriations. — The amount of Twenty million pesos (P20,000,000.00) shall be initially appropriated out of the funds of the National Treasury. Subsequent appropriations shall be provided by Congress in the annual budget of the Department of Health under the General Appropriations Act.
ARTICLE IX MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
Sec. 49. Implementing rules and regulations. — Within six (6) months after it is fully reconstituted, the Council shall formulate and issue the appropriate rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this Act.
Sec. 50. Separability clause. — If any provision of this Act is declared invalid, the remainder of this Act or any provision not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.
Sec. 51. Repealing clause. — All laws, presidential decrees, executive orders and their implementing rules inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
Sec. 52. Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.
Approved: February 13, 1998
Tuloy ang ligaya, but of course be RESPONSIBLE!
Here are some info about CD4 and HIV:
T helper cells (also known as effector T cells or Th cells) are a sub-group of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell or leukocyte) that plays an important role in establishing and maximizing the capabilities of the immune system. These cells are unusual in that they have no cytotoxic or phagocytic activity; they cannot kill infected host (also known as somatic) cells or pathogens, and without other immune cells they would usually be considered useless against an infection. Th cells are involved in activating and directing other immune cells, and are particularly important in the immune system. They are essential in determining B cell antibody class switching, in the activation and growth of cytotoxic T cells, and in maximizing bactericidal activity of phagocytes such as macrophages. It is this diversity in function and their role in influencing other cells that gives T helper cells their name.
Mature Th cells are believed to always express the surface protein CD4. T cells expressing CD4 are also known as CD4+ T cells. CD4+ T cells are generally treated as having a pre-defined role as helper T cells within the immune system, although there are known rare exceptions. For example, there are sub-groups of suppressor T cells, natural killer T cells, and cytotoxic T cells that are known to express CD4 (although cytotoxic examples have been observed in extremely low numbers in specific disease states, they are usually considered non-existent). All of the latter CD4+ T cell groups are not considered T helper cells, and are beyond the scope of this article.
The importance of helper T cells can be seen from HIV, a virus that infects cells that are CD4+ (including helper T cells). Towards the end of an HIV infection the number of functional CD4+ T cells falls, which leads to the symptomatic stage of infection known as the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). There are also some rare disorders that result in the absence or dysfunction of CD4+ T cells. These disorders produce similar symptoms, and many of these are fatal.
Perhaps the best example of the importance of CD4+ T cells is demonstrated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV targets cells that express CD4, and can infect macrophages, dendritic cells (both groups express CD4 at low levels) and CD4+ T cells.
It has been proposed that during the non-symptomatic phase of HIV infection, the virus has a relatively low affinity towards T cells (and has a higher affinity for macrophages), resulting in a slow kill rate of CD4+ T cells by the immune system. This is initially compensated for via the production of new helper T cells from the thymus (originally from the bone marrow). Once the virus becomes lymphotropic (or T-tropic) however, it begins to infect CD4+ T cells far more efficiently (likely due to a change in the co-receptors it binds to during infection), and the immune system is overwhelmed.
At this point, functional CD4+ T cell levels begin to decrease, eventually to a point where the CD4+ T cell population is too small to recognize the full range of antigens that could potentially be detected. The lack of full antigen cover results in the core symptoms of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). CD4 T cell depletion during AIDS allows various pathogens to escape T cell recognition, thus allowing opportunistic infections that would normally elicit a helper T cell response to bypass the immune system. While these complete bypass situations only occur when the helper T cell response is absolutely necessary for infection clearance, most infections increase in severity and/or duration because the immune system's helper T cells provide a weaker contribution to a less efficient immune response.
Two components of the immune system are particularly affected in AIDS, due to its CD4+ T cell dependency:
1. CD8+ T cells are not stimulated as effectively during the AIDS period of HIV infection, making AIDS patients very susceptible to most viruses, including HIV itself. This decline in killing of
CD4+ T cells results in the virus being produced for a longer period (the infected CD4+ T cells are not killed as quickly), increasing the proliferation of the virus, and accelerating the development of the disease.
2. Antibody class switching declines significantly once helper T cell function fails. The immune system loses its ability to improve the affinity of their antibodies, and are unable to generate B cells that can produce antibody groups such as IgG and IgA. These effects are primarily due to the loss of any helper T cell that can interact with the B lymphocyte correctly. Another symptom of AIDS is the reduction in antibody levels due to a decrease in Th2 cytokines (and less interactions by helper T cells). All of these complications result in an increased susceptibility to aggressive bacterial infections, especially in areas of the body not accessible by IgM antibodies.
If the patient does not respond to (or does not receive) HIV treatment they will succumb usually to either cancers or infections; the immune system finally reaches a point where it is no longer coordinated or stimulated enough to deal with the disease.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
After reading Pinoy Poz blog I talked to my friend who's recently been detected positive of HIV. They also went to RITM this week and he confirmed that the facilities and rooms are way better than San Lazaro Hospital H4 Pavillion, in fact he even told me that if ever I need to be confined there I will be placed in a private and airconditioned room. Yes, you heard it right! A private airconditioned room awaits you in RITM just in case you need confinement. Less people meaning less being recognized by someone you know! Unlike in H4 Pavillion in San Lazaro you have to passed by alot of Departments especially the Tuberculosis Building it's like it is a requirement for you to parade first to the TB building before you can get to H4 Pavillion. When I was confined there, Oh my God! I have to endure 2 weeks of mosquito biting, staying in ward with fellow male patients. The No. 1 advice of the doctor, don't be depressed, it will decrease your CD4! How can I not be depressed if you see other people suffering and how life is treating you on those four corners of that room. If only walls could feel the pain and suffering of those people whom he have witness I'm sure he will be depressed too!
That's why I'm going to talk to my parent's about my option and will see what are they going to say about it! I'd also like to solicit any advice that you can give. Should I transfer in RITM or should I stay in H4 Pavillion in San Lazaro Hospital?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
That's why to all of you, continue to dream
even if it is......
The UNREACHABLE STAR!!!
Monday, August 4, 2008
These are the main ways in which someone can become infected with HIV:
Unprotected penetrative sex with someone who is infected.
Injection or transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products, donations of semen (artificial insemination), skin grafts or organ transplants taken from someone who is infected.
From a mother who is infected to her baby; this can occur during pregnancy, at birth and through breastfeeding.
Sharing unsterilised injection equipment that has previously been used by someone who is infected.
Can I be infected if my partner doesn't have HIV?
No. Like all sexually transmitted infections, HIV cannot be 'created', only passed on. If you are sure that your partner does not have HIV, then there is no risk of acquiring it, even if you do have unprotected sex (whether it be vaginal, anal or oral). However, pregnancy and other sexually transmitted diseases (if your partner has one) remain a risk, so you should still use a condom or other suitable form of birth control wherever possible.
How safe is oral sex?
Although it is possible to become infected with HIV through oral sex, the risk of becoming infected in this way is much lower than the risk of infection via unprotected sexual intercourse with a man or woman.
When giving oral sex to a man (sucking or licking a man's penis) a person could become infected with HIV if infected semen came into contact with damaged and receding gums, or any cuts or sores they might have in their mouth.
Giving oral sex to a woman (licking a woman's vulva or vagina) is also considered relatively low risk. Transmission could take place if infected sexual fluids from a woman got into the mouth of her partner. The likelihood of infection might be increased if there is menstrual blood involved or if the woman is infected with another sexually transmitted disease.
The likelihood of either a man or a woman becoming infected with HIV as a result of receiving oral sex is extremely low, as saliva does not contain infectious quantities of HIV.
What are the chances of becoming infected with HIV if he doesn't come inside me?
Whilst research suggests that high concentrations of HIV can sometimes be detected in precum, it is difficult to judge whether HIV is present in sufficient quantities for infection to occur. To guard against the possibility of infection with HIV or any other STD it is best to practise safer sex, i.e. sex with a condom.
Is deep kissing a route of HIV transmission?
Deep or open-mouthed kissing is a very low risk activity in terms of HIV transmission. HIV is only present in saliva in very minute amounts, insufficient to cause infection with HIV.There has been only one documented case of someone becoming infected with HIV through kissing; a result of exposure to infected blood during open-mouthed kissing. If you or your partner have blood in your mouth, you should avoid kissing until the bleeding stops.
Are lesbians or other women who have sex with women at risk for HIV?
Lesbians/bisexual women are not at high risk of contracting HIV through woman-to-woman sex. Very few women are known to have passed HIV on to other women sexually, though it is theoretically possible if infected vaginal fluids or blood from an HIV positive partner enter the other woman's vagina (perhaps on fingers or sex toys).
Is unprotected anal intercourse more of an HIV risk than vaginal or oral sex?
Unprotected anal intercourse does carry a higher risk than most other forms of sexual activity. The lining of the rectum has fewer cells than that of the vagina, and therefore can be damaged more easily, causing bleeding during intercourse. This can then be a route into the bloodstream for infected sexual fluids or blood. There is also a risk to the insertive partner during anal intercourse, though this is lower than the risk to the receptive partner.
Does 'fingering' during sex carry a risk of HIV transmission?
Inserting a finger into someone's anus or vagina would only be an HIV risk if the finger had cuts or sores on it and if there was direct contact with HIV infected blood, vaginal fluids or semen from the other person. There might also be a risk if the person doing the fingering had HIV and their finger was bleeding.Is there a connection between HIV and other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)?HIV and other STDs can impact upon each other. The presence of STDs in an HIV infected person can increase the risk of HIV transmission. This can be through a genital ulcer which could bleed or through increased genital discharge.
An HIV negative person who has an STD can be at increased risk of becoming infected with HIV through sex. This can happen if the STD causes ulceration or breaks in the skin (e.g. syphilis or herpes), or if it stimulates an immune response in the genital area (e.g. chlamydia or gonorrhoea). HIV transmission is more likely in those with ulcerative STDs than non-ulcerative.
Using condoms during sex is the best way to prevent the sexual transmission of diseases, including HIV.
Can I become infected with HIV through normal social contact/activities such as shaking hands/toilet seats/swimming pools/sharing cutlery/kissing/sneezes and coughs?
No. HIV is not an airborne, water-borne or food-borne virus, and does not survive for very long outside the human body. Therefore ordinary social contact such as kissing, shaking hands, coughing and sharing cutlery does not result in the virus being passed from one person to another.
Can I become infected with HIV from needles on movie/cinema seats?
There have been a number of stories circulating via the Internet and e-mail, about people becoming infected from needles left on cinema seats and in coin return slots. These rumours appear to have no factual basis.
For HIV infection to take place in this way the needle would need to contain infected blood with a high level of infectious virus. If a person was then pricked with an infected needle, they could become infected, but there is still only a 0.4% chance of this happening.
Although discarded needles can transfer blood and blood-borne illnesses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV, the risk of infection taking place in this way is extremely low.
Is there a risk of HIV transmission when having a tattoo, body piercing or visiting the barbers?
If instruments contaminated with blood are not sterilised between clients then there is a risk of HIV transmission. However, people who carry out body piercing or tattooing should follow procedures called 'universal precautions', which are designed to prevent the transmission of blood borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B.
When visiting the barbers there is no risk of infection unless the skin is cut and infected blood gets into the wound. Traditional 'cut-throat' razors used by barbers now have disposable blades, which should only be used once, thus eliminating the risk from blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis and HIV.
Are healthcare workers at risk from HIV through contact with HIV positive patients?
The risk to healthcare workers being exposed to HIV is extremely low, especially if they follow universal healthcare precautions. Everyday casual contact does not expose anyone, including healthcare workers, to HIV. The main risk is through accidental injuries from needles and other sharp objects that may be contaminated with HIV.
It has been estimated that the risk of infection from a needlestick injury is less than 1 percent. In the UK for instance, there have been five documented cases of HIV transmission through occupational exposure in the healthcare setting, and twelve possible/probable cases. In the US, there were 56 documented cases of occupational HIV transmission up to June 2000.
The risk posed by a needlestick injury may be higher if it is a deep injury; if it is made with a hollow bore needle; if the source patient has a high viral load; or if the sharp instrument is visibly contaminated with blood. For further information, see our HIV and healthcare workers page.
Am I at risk of becoming infected with HIV when visiting the doctor or dentist?
Transmission of HIV in a healthcare setting is extremely rare. All health professionals are required to follow infection control procedures when caring for any patient. These procedures are called universal precautions for infection control. They are designed to protect both patients and healthcare professionals from the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and HIV.
If blood splashes into my eye can I become infected with HIV?
Research suggests that the risk of HIV infection in this way is extremely small. A very small number of people - usually in a healthcare setting - have become infected with HIV as a result of blood splashes in the eye.
Can I become infected with HIV through biting?
Infection with HIV in this way is unusual. There have only been a couple of documented cases of HIV transmission resulting from biting. In these particular cases, severe tissue tearing and damage were reported in addition to the presence of blood.
Can I be infected with HIV through contact with animals such as dogs and cats?
No. HIV is a Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It only affects humans. There are some other types of immunodeficiency viruses that specifically affect cats and other primates, namely the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV). These viruses are of no risk to humans.
Some people have expressed concern that they could become infected if
scratched by an animal that has previously scratched an HIV positive person. This is exceptionally unlikely, and there are no documented cases of transmission occurring in this way.
Can I get HIV from a mosquito?
No, it is not possible to get HIV from mosquitoes. When taking blood from someone, mosquitoes do not inject blood from any previous person. The only thing that a mosquito injects is saliva, which acts as a lubricant and enables it to feed more efficiently.
Can HIV be transmitted in household settings?
HIV is overwhelmingly transmitted through sexual contact, through intravenous drug use, through infected blood donations and from mother to child during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. HIV is not transmitted through everyday social contact. There have however been a few cases in which it is thought that family members have infected each other through ways other than those stated above.
A case in Australia in the late 1990s involved two sisters. Both tested positive within a month of each other. The risk exposure for the older sister was identified as being sexual contact she had with a Russian man. The younger sister had had no obvious risk exposures, and investigators concluded that the only possible risk exposure was them sharing a razor to shave their legs. Further analysis established that they did have the same Russian virus strain, not commonly found in Australia.
The other case involved a mother and son, again in Australia, who both tested HIV positive. He had had risk exposures in Thailand some years before, whereas the mother could not identify a possible exposure. The son had had the skin condition psoriasis some time earlier, and the mother's application of the cream to his skin lesions was identified as the only possible route of infection. Analysis showed that they both had the same strain, found in Thailand and not common in Australia.
Whilst HIV transmission between family members and members of the same household is possible, it occurs in extremely low numbers and documented cases are very rare.
Can I become infected with HIV if I inject drugs and share the needles with someone else, without sterilising them?
There is a possibility of becoming infected with HIV if you share injecting equipment with someone who has the virus. If HIV infected blood remains within the bore (inside) of the needle or in the syringe and someone else then uses it to inject themselves, that blood can be flushed into the bloodstream. Sharing needles, syringes, spoons, filters or water can pass on the virus. Disinfecting equipment between uses can reduce the likelihood of transmission, but does not eliminate it. More information can be found in our HIV and drug use page.
Can I transmit HIV to my baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
An HIV-infected pregnant woman can pass the virus on to her unborn baby either before or during birth. HIV can also be passed on during breastfeeding. If a woman knows that she is infected with HIV, there are drugs she can take to greatly reduce the chances of her child becoming infected. Other ways to lower the risk include choosing to have a caesarean section delivery and not breastfeeding. Read more about HIV and pregnancy.
Does donating blood or having a blood transfusion mean that I am putting myself at risk from HIV?
Some people have been infected through a transfusion of infected blood. In most countries, however, all the blood used for transfusions is now tested for HIV. In those countries where the blood has been tested, HIV infection through blood transfusions is now extremely rare. Blood products, such as those used by people with haemophilia, are now heat-treated to make them safe.
Donating blood at an approved donation centre should carry no risk, as all equipment should be sterile and blood collection needles are not reused.
Can HIV be transmitted outside of the body?
Whilst HIV may live for a short while outside of the body, HIV transmission has not been reported as a result of contact with spillages or small traces of blood, semen or other bodily fluids. This is partly because HIV dies quite quickly once exposed to the air, and also because spilled fluids would have to get into a person's bloodstream to infect them.
Scientists agree that HIV does not survive well in the environment, making the chance of environmental transmission remote. To obtain data on the survival of HIV, laboratory studies usually use artificially high concentrations of laboratory-grown virus. Although these concentrations of HIV can be kept alive for days or even weeks under controlled conditions, studies have shown that drying of these high concentrations of HIV reduces the amount of infectious virus by 90 to 99 percent within a few hours.
Since the HIV concentrations used in laboratory studies are much higher than those actually found in blood or other specimens, the real risk of HIV infection from dried bodily fluids is probably close to zero. Incorrect interpretation of conclusions drawn from laboratory studies have unnecessarily alarmed some people. AVERT.org has additional facts about HIV and AIDS.
Does circumcision protect against HIV?
There is very strong evidence showing that circumcised men are about half as likely as uncircumcised men to acquire HIV through heterosexual sex. However, circumcision does not make a man immune to HIV infection, it just means that it's less likely to happen. Read more about HIV and circumcision.
If I am taking antiretroviral drugs and have an 'undetectable' viral load, am I still infectious?
Even if your tests show that you have very low levels of HIV in your blood, the virus will not have been totally eradicated and you will still be apable of infecting others. Some drugs do not penetrate the genitals very well and so do not disable HIV as effectively there as they do in the blood. This means that while you may have little active virus showing up on blood tests, there may still be quite a lot of HIV in your semen or vaginal fluids. Transmission may be less likely when you have a low viral load, but it is still possible so you should always take appropriate precautions.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Yesterday I called E and told him that I am going to San Lazaro to get my meds (ARV) and make a follow up on my CD4 test that is scheduled on Aug. 14. Thursday is the scheduled day for all HIV/ AIDS wherein all the doctors there are present for consultation or if your going to ask for meds like in my case prescription for my ARV, if your feeling sick or feeling something you can consult them on that day. Thursday also serves as a small reunion or gathering for all HIV Positives or we call ourselves PUSIT. Sometimes some NGO go there and conduct lectures. On that day also most of the time you will see NEW and Younger Faces of an HIV carrier.
I asked E if he wants to go with me and without any hesitation E said yes. He texted me last night and asked a favor if I can give him a wake up call at around 6:30 AM and I replied Sure and then I slept.
I woke up at exactly 6:30 AM, I got my phone and made a call to E. I said it's 6:30 and he said yes he's already awake. Then I went to the shower and dress up. I left our house around 7:30 AM when I entered the South Expressway I texted E and told him that I already entered South Super Highway. Eventually I reached Alabang and we met at the Northgate of Filinvest.
He went inside my car and I politely introduced myself. Then while I was driving we talk about some stuff about my life, things that I do, being HIV positive almost everything under the sun. We also talked about his life and indeed it colorfull.
Eventually we arrived at San Lazaro Hospital I told him not to be afraid. That almost everyone who is inside that building is POSITIVE. We went down to my car and went to the lobby, I said Hi to some of my friends, acquaintances and to the nurses there. I told E to just seat in one of the chairs there while the nurse checks my Vital Signs (Weight: 67.7 Kilos, BP: 120/ 70 and Body Temp: Normal) . The nurse gave me my no. and it was No. 14 and the doctor is not starting yet. I said to myself GOOD LUCK TO ME! I sat beside E and we shared stories again I told him after this I'm going to a friend who's confined in San Lazaro also taking his ARV trial. Most of my friends there asked me, Sino yang kasama mo? (Whisperring) I told them Kaibigan ko! They will have a follow up question: Sigurado ka friend ha hindi boyfriend? I told them: Oo! If I'm on that building I feel different. I can do what I want, I can say what I want, I don't have to pretend that I'm straight and I'm not HIV Positive! On that building I can be ME! Pag nakikita ko ang ibat ibang klase ng tao sa San Lazaro especially sa H4 (This is the name of the building for HIV/ AIDS carrier) I have this mixed feeling. Thankful kasi God blessed me so much that I can afford to buy what I want and what I need unlike others na kailangang kailangan na nila pero wala sila magawa kasi wala silang pera. Kaya nga sabi ko sa sarili ko I will help these people in my own little way. Hindi man ako naka front pero there are alot of ways to help these people. Simula nung naging HIV positive ako I always think of ways on how to make the life of HIV/ AIDS carriers better. I mentioned to E that one of my plans is to have a nice, state of the art and fully equiped building that once you see that building sasabihin mo sa sarili mo: Sana may HIV na lang ako! I know it's kinda weird pero that's my vision. Wherein all people will undergo HIV testing because they know that if ever they are infected they are in good hands and even foreigners will come here in our country to seek help. I know it's a long shot but it's worth a try!
Going back, at last after a no. of hours it was my turn to meet my doctor. I greeted her and
Doctora said: Sino kasama mo? Boyfriend mo?
I replied to her: Doctora, kaibigan ko po sya. Nagma magandang loob lang po ako.
Doctora said: Asus! Carlo behave ka ha!
I replied again: Doc positive din po yata sya.
I said: Opo, di pa confirm kasi nagpa rapid test sya lumabas positive tapos for confirmatory na lumabas kahapon ELISA test nya POSITIVE daw ulit may isa pang test na hinihintay para lumabas na yung CERTIFICATE of ACCOMPLISHMENT na POSITIVE na siya.
Doctora: Aok, akala ko pa naman bf mo.
I said: Doc naman alam nyo naman ako mabait na bata!
Doctora told me that my CD4 scheduled for Aug.14 is cancelled since there is no reagent available and they still don't know when are they going to resume it. They will just advise me as soon as they have it already. I just asked doctora for prescription for my ARV so that I can get in in the pharmacy and she gladly gave it to me.
After that we went to my friend Duaine (He is the guy taking ARV trial). E and I visited him. I introduced E to Duaine. I saw the nurses assigned there and they are the same nursed assigned when I was confined last January sa we know each other I said Hi to them and asked how are they. The three of us sat at the lobby and shared stories, I asked how is he doing and where is his bf? He said that he's ok and that he's bf left because they fought again for the nth time.
Duaine is a nice person he was detected last year but unfortunatelly he didn't take it seriously that's why when he got the courage to get his CD4 test last month he was surprised that it was very low 112. This is low since the doctors are advising patients that once there cd4 went down to 350 they recommend to the patient to take ARV. That's why he is on ARV trial for 2 weeks and today was just his 3rd day. He thank us for visiting him. He said that he was so bored and that the only thing he does is to EMOTE about his life. I talked to him and gave him some inputs based on my experience and told him that it will agravate his condition if he will become depressed. I told him that he is not alone, that there are alot of people who takes care of him like his bf who inspite the fact that he knows that he is positive he still accepted him and loved him more. He smiled and said that I'm right.
Well there's a great feeling of accomplishment if you help other people even in small ways!
E, thanks again for coming with me!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
We know that the virus has existed in the United States since at least the mid- to late 1970s. From 1979-1981 rare types of pneumonia, cancer, and other illnesses were being reported by doctors in Los Angeles and New York among a number of male patients who had sex with other men. These were conditions not usually found in people with healthy immune systems.
In 1982 public health officials began to use the term "acquired immunodeficiency syndrome," or AIDS, to describe the occurrences of opportunistic infections, Kaposi's sarcoma (a kind of cancer), and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in previously healthy people. Formal tracking (surveillance) of AIDS cases began that year in the United States.
In 1983, scientists discovered the virus that causes AIDS. The virus was at first named HTLV-III/LAV (human T-cell lymphotropic virus-type III/lymphadenopathy- associated virus) by an international scientific committee. This name was later changed to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
For many years scientists theorized as to the origins of HIV and how it appeared in the human population, most believing that HIV originated in other primates. Then in 1999, an international team of researchers reported that they had discovered the origins of HIV-1, the predominant strain of HIV in the developed world. A subspecies of chimpanzees native to west equatorial Africa had been identified as the original source of the virus. The researchers believe that HIV-1 was introduced into the human population when hunters became exposed to infected blood.
Acquired – means that the disease is not hereditary but develops after birth from contact with a disease causing agent (in this case, HIV).
Immunodeficiency – means that the disease is characterized by a weakening of the immune system.
Syndrome – refers to a group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease. In the case of AIDS this can include the development of certain infections and/or cancers, as well as a decrease in the number of certain cells in a person’s immune system.
A diagnosis of AIDS is made by a physician using specific clinical or laboratory standards.
Since 1996, the introduction of powerful anti-retroviral therapies has dramatically changed the progression time between HIV infection and the development of AIDS. There are also other medical treatments that can prevent or cure some of the illnesses associated with AIDS, though the treatments do not cure AIDS itself. Because of these advances in drug therapies and other medical treatments, estimates of how many people will develop AIDS and how soon are being recalculated, revised, or are currently under study.
As with other diseases, early detection of infection allows for more options for treatment and preventative health care.
Results from laboratory studies should not be used to assess specific personal risk of infection because (1) the amount of virus studied is not found in human specimens or elsewhere in nature, and (2) no one has been identified as infected with HIV due to contact with an environmental surface. Additionally, HIV is unable to reproduce outside its living host (unlike many bacteria or fungi, which may do so under suitable conditions), except under laboratory conditions; therefore, it does not spread or maintain infectiousness outside its host.
The following may be warning signs of advanced HIV infection:
*rapid weight loss
*recurring fever or profuse night sweats
*profound and unexplained fatigue
*swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck
*diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
*white spots or unusual blemishes on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat
*red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids
*memory loss, depression, and other neurological disorders
After reading your blog, it boosted my courage to take a test (the last time that I have my test is May 2007 which is negative). Though I had only a sexual relationship with my partner for one and a half year, I just want to be tested. Your blog has immensely inspired me (… and made me so emotional while working here in the office). I remember a few years ago (in my late teens), I have to go to a government hospital to be tested and I remember the enormous emotion of BEING SCARED. I don’t know how the world would react if they see a glimpse of the secret of a young discreet bisexual guy and/or if I would be HIV +. I was SCARED TO DEATH because my identity would be revealed. After going to the test and waiting it for a week, the test was negative (I went every 6 month for 2 years and I was negative, it was the time where as a young person, you do experiment out of the society’s norm).. I’ve remember while waiting in a room for my results, there were people who were HIV + … I didn’t know how to react, what to say or what to do… but as time would pass by, these people are the STRONGEST and the WISEST People that I’ve met in my life and they do take life in to a higher horizon. I’ve learned from them that (1) even if your not doing anal sex (which I’m not a fan of) you can still contract it (2) that you learn to pick up the pieces and see that there is life after being HIV + and (3) that people who are HIV + are not scary after all in fact they’re the people like what I said earlier who are the strongest and wisest people on Earth.. I got to chat with one of the patient in the room ( even though I was just a kid at that time) and I learn this thing….
“Life is a matter of perspective.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths that you take
But it is measured by the number of moments that take your breathe away”
I know that this quote is easier to be said than done but time will slowly teach the answer to its complexity and the secret it holds on life. I hope that each moment that you do in your life and that each moment that you help other people would not only give you happiness but it would provide you fulfillment. I pray for your everyday well-being and I do support for you GOOD CAUSE. Take care and bro, no matter what people may say about you, IT DOESN’T MAKE YOU LESS THAN A MAN. You are one great person that the society needs right now and that people would appreciate and would be happy to know. Once again take care and Godbless….................................................................................................And I hope that this long long long long super long letter made you smile =)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
(NOTE: reading of results take 10 minutes after actual blood sample extraction, procedure is the same as blood sugar monitoring for Diabetic clients)
Who: Everyone is welcome for Testing, underage/minor must secure parental consent according to R.A. 8504 or must comply with the requirements of the law for testing
When: July 22, 2008 and onwards until supply last
Total Targets: 15,000 Clients based on the 15,000 HIV Test KITS available
Where: Social Hygiene Clinic - Manila Health Department, 2nd Floor of 208 Quiricada Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila(green building across the main gate of San Lazaro Hospital, between LRT Bambang and LRT Tayuman Station)
GROUP TESTING: Group Testing is possible by making arrangements with Ms. Malou Tan for venue and date. However, venue should be within the City of Manila.
Contact Details: For inquiries, call 711-6942 and look for Dra. Diana Mendoza or Ms. Malou Tan, Monday to Friday only from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Social Hygiene Clinic of the Manila Health Department is offering fast and reliable HIV Test FREE for all using the RAPID Test Kit.A total number of 15,000 HIV RAPID Test Kits worth 5 million pesos were donated and delivered last July 18 to the Manila Health Department. The kits were donated by the good people of South Korea namely Mr. Cho Yoon Soo, the President of Good People International Philippines, Rev. Dr. Jeon Dae Gu and Mayor Ahn Sang Soo of Inceon Metropolitan City.These kits are set to target the general population, especially those who have or had risky behaviors that could lead to HIV Infection.
Thanks to my friend Dying Young for continously helping and pushing the welfare of people with HIV/ AIDS.
Monday, July 21, 2008
The CD4 count tells your doctor how strong your immune system is, how far HIV disease has advanced (the stage of the disease), and helps predict the risk of complications and debilitating infections. The CD4 count is most useful when it is compared with the count obtained from an earlier test.
The CD4 count is used in combination with the viral load test, which measures the level of HIV in the blood, to determine the staging and outlook of the disease.
The CD4 count is also used to identify possible health problems for which you may be at risk and to determine which medications might be helpful.
A CD4 count and a viral load test are ordered when a person is first diagnosed with HIV as part of a baseline measurement. Both tests should be repeated about two to eight weeks after starting or changing anti-HIV therapy. If treatment is maintained, a CD4 count should be performed every three to six months thereafter.
In general, the CD4 count goes down as HIV disease progresses. Any single CD4 count value may differ from the last one even though your health status has not changed. You should not place too much importance on any one result. What is more important than any single value is the pattern of CD4 counts over time.
If your CD4 count declines over several months, your doctor may recommend beginning or changing anti-HIV treatment and/or starting preventive treatment for opportunistic infections like Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Your CD4 count should increase or stabilize in response to effective combination anti-HIV therapy.
According to public health guidelines, preventive therapy should be started when an HIV-positive person who has no symptoms registers a CD4 count under 200. Some physicians will opt to consider treatment earlier, at 350. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers HIV-infected persons who have CD4 counts below 200 to have AIDS, regardless of whether they are sick or well.
This combination of drugs reduce the number of HIV viruses in the body. By doing this the immune system can be strengthened and restored. Once your CD4 count drops below 200 your doctor will start you on ARV treatment.