Youths urged to take HIV test in legit hubs

Davao City’s Reproductive Health and Wellness Center is urging young residents who want to seek Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV-Aids) testing and treatment, to undergo testing only at accredited HIV/AIDS treatment hub in the city.

RHWC-Davao head Dr. Jordana Ramiterre said RHWC has focused on encouraging people with high-risk sexual behaviors to come over and be tested, so that HIV can be detected at an early stage and corresponding treatment can be offered to those infected.

Earlier, the Davao Philippine Red Cross (PRC) reported on Thursday during the Ispeak media forum that there were five blood donors this year found out to be positive of HIV.

Rizh Abellano, Davao City Aids Council (DCAC)-PRC building recruitment officer, said on Thursday that the five HIV positive blood donors are mostly college students as they only qualified 18 years old and above blood donors.

“Blood donation should not be a means of HIV testing as some people would only donate blood through PRC to know their HIV status which should not be,” said Abellano.

Abellano added that last year PRC also recorded 13 HIV positive individuals.

According to Abellano the five identified HIV positives were already forwarded to Alliance Against Aids (Alagad) in Mindanao for medication and counseling.

“We strongly encourage people with high-risk sexual behaviors to come over and be tested only in authorized HIV/AIDS treatment hub before they donate blood, the purpose of blood donation is only to save lives not to put life in danger,” he added.

Ramiterre clarified that PRC is not HIV/AIDS treatment hub as they were not authorized to screen or test to know HIV status.

Aside from RHWC, Davao Region has two treatment hubs, one in Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in J.P. Laurel, Davao City and Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City