TACLOBAN CITY — The Department of Health (DOH) has deployed five HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) viral load machines to five strategic sites in Eastern Visayas in an attempt to prevent the spread of the infection.
Since August, the DOH said it had been distributing machines to Leyte Provincial Hospital, Eastern Visayas Medical Center (EVMC), Biliran Provincial Hospital, Northern Samar Provincial Hospital, and the Samar Provincial Hospital.
In support of the country’s robust National HIV, AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) Prevention and Control Program (NASPCP), the DOH Eastern Visayas donated five HIV Viral Load Machines to five strategic sites across the region.
“The donation is a leap forward in expanding access to viral load testing for people living with HIV, so clinicians would be able to monitor and manage a patient’s response to treatment,” DOH Eastern Visayas assistant regional director Lilibeth Andrade said in a statement.
“Likewise, the equipment augmentation is a fundamental component for the national government’s goal of reaching the three United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS targets of 95 percent diagnosis, 95 percent treatment, and 95 percent virally suppressed cases,” she added.
The viral load machine uses a cartridge-based test using reverse transcription and real-time polymerase chain reaction, capable of detecting HIV-1 and HIV-2 viruses.
From 1984 to 2022, Eastern Visayas has recorded about 2,600 people living with HIV, but only 1,554 individuals have been diagnosed.
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. There is no cure for HIV infection.
AIDS, on the other hand, refers to symptoms and illnesses that occur at the final stage of the HIV infection.