Intersections of infections: HIV amid the COVID pandemic

| Written by Deina Blancaflor

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune cells, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

HIV is a major global public health issue, having claimed 40.1 million lives since 1981. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines had one of the highest rates of increase in HIV in the world.

What happened during the pandemic? Were HIV patients able to receive treatment and care during the lockdowns? Who is most at risk for HIV?

This Friday, September 16, from 12 noon to 2 pm, the University of the Philippines (UP), in partnership with UP Manila National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH), National Telehealth Center (NTC), and cooperation with the UP Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), invites you to join the fight against COVID—current COVID-19 problems, other outbreaks, viruses, infections, and disasters.

This week’s “Stop COVID Deaths” episode, “HIV sa Panahon ng COVID-19”, will try to find the reasons behind the alarming spike of HIV cases in the country and focus on prevention and the role of front liners in reducing stigma around the disease.

These will all be discussed by a panel of experts: Dr. Sybil Lizanne R. Bravo, Division Chief of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Associate Professor with the Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UP College of Medicine; Dr. Kate Leyritana, Medical Director of the Sustained Health Initiatives of the Philippines; Dr. Ricardo Manalastas, Jr., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UP Manila; and, Teresita Marie P. Bagasao, Project Director of Meeting Targets and Achieving Epidemic Control (EpiC)-HIV.

Register here and catch our weekly live tweets and streams via the UP System Twitter Account, TVUP’s YouTube channel, and Facebook page.

The award-winning UP “Stop COVID Deaths” Webinar Series is the Philippines’ first and only frontline-focused medical webinar series. It pioneered the discussion, dissemination, and adoption of knowledge on COVID-19 treatment and management. Follow our accounts to stay connected with your credible online community.