A report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reveals that one in four people living with HIV has reported problems with gaining access to important medications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For many people living with HIV, accessing antiretroviral therapy from the nearest treatment hub is a welcome development. However, the nearest facility may not be within walking distance, and public transportation has been restricted,” said Richard Bragado, adviser of Pinoy Plus Advocacy Pilipinas, an organization of people living with HIV
He added, “To be able to reach the HIV clinic, some need to pass through checkpoints, where they fear disclosure of their HIV status, as a few have already reportedly experienced.”
Similarly, HIV programs are among those that have had disruptions in services, with up to 85 percent of existing programs affected based on a survey by The Global Fund, a partnership that mobilizes and invests funds to support programs towards AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Of even greater concern, Frontline AIDS further observes how the coronavirus, alongside HIV and AIDS, has a greater impact on people who are already marginalized. Specifically, it is those most affected by HIV who will feel the brunt of the effects of the coronavirus, especially with how lockdowns and quarantines have made access to much-needed antiretroviral medicines, not to mention visits to hospitals and health centers, extremely difficult.
In light of the current situation, and in view of recent data from the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau that shows 2,818 newly confirmed HIV-positive individuals from January to March of this year, protection from HIV is continuously promoted.
Actively doing its part in informing the public on the importance of protection, preparedness, and education regarding HIV is Durex. Through its latest multimedia Protection and Preparedness Education (PPE) campaign—featuring vlog collaborations, online university talks, and e-learning videos—Durex wants the public to be properly informed and kept safe from HIV during this pandemic.
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