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DOH offers free HIV texting services

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DOH offers free HIV texting services

/ 04:29 PM April 04, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – People living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) may seek the help of the Department of Health (DOH) through their mobile phones.

This after the DOH launched its free texting service on Friday that would provide information about the virus, as well as counseling, testing and life-saving treatment on the deadly virus, it said in its official Facebook page.

HIV leads to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), which weakens the immune system that could cause death.

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A subscriber can avail of the service by texting HIV to 8504. Globe subscribers could avail of the service free for a year, DOH said.

“A series of messages and interactive voice responses guides users through information, risk assessment, and referral to participating health facilities in Metro Manila,” the DOH said.

The service refers subscribers to social hygiene clinics in Manila, Pasay and Quezon cities, and Woodwater Center in Pasig.

The facilities offer confidential HIV counseling and testing. These health centers may also refer patients to hospitals that offer antiretroviral therapy, which seeks to curb the effects of the virus through medication.

The mobile communications service is a public-private partnership among the Philippine NGO Support Program, Philippine National AIDS Council, and Globe Telecommunications.

The Philippines has one of the world’s fastest growing HIV cases. The DOH has recorded 486 new HIV cases in February this year, up 43 percent from the same period last year.

Of the 486 cases, 36 were already full-blown AIDS, it added.

The number of new cases brings to 934 the total reported HIV cases from January to February 2014, and to 17,450 from 1984 to 2014.

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TAGS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS, Department of Health, Globe Telecommunications, Health, HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, texting
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