"We live in a world where adolescents and young people, especially from key populations, are still left behind. We cannot fail to address their needs. I challenge the indifference and I call for action now," said Wurtzbach during the International Youth Day Conference held at the University of Makati.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), about 230 young people are newly infected with HIV in Asia and the Pacific every day. In 2017, almost half a million people, between ages 15 to 24, were living with HIV. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, young people account for 69 percent of new HIV infections, and 30 people are being diagnosed per day (based on 2017 data).
"We have miles to go to end AIDS in the Philippines and we need to equip young people with the right information and enable them to access services that are safe and responsive to their needs," Wurtzbach said.
Eamonn Murphy, UNAIDS Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, was also there in the event.
"We need a critical change to respond to the dynamic shift of the HIV epidemic among young key populations, not only in the Philippines but in Asia and the Pacific," Murphy said.
He adds: "We need the innovation and creativity of young people in designing HIV interventions that work for them and, at the same time, support their leadership in challenging structural barriers in accessing health services, including parental consent requirements for adolescents and the lack of comprehensive sexuality education."
Wurtzbach, Murphy, and everyone from UNAIDS
"We need to highlight the need of young people for safe spaces to come together, hang out, and participate in decision-making processes. This includes in healthcare settings, which should be places of safety, free from stigma, discrimination, and violence," they shared.
They also urged sexually-active individuals to get themselves tested. In case you're interested, below are three of the most recommended places in the metro where you can get tested for HIV for free:
San Lazaro Hospital
Quiricada St., Sta. Cruz, Manila
Love Yourself Anglo
Unit 5, 3/F, Anglo Building, #715-A Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.
Love Yourself Uni
2028 Taft Avenue Extension, Pasay City
On the other hand,
Ermin Garcia St., Brgy. Pinagkaisahan, Quezon City
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM)
Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
(02) 807-2628 loc. 332
Philippine General Hospital
Taft Ave., Manila
(02) 554-8400 loc. 3249
Sta. Ana Hospital
New Panaderos Street, Sta. Ana, Manila
Manila Social Hygiene Clinic
208 Quiricada St., Sta. Cruz, Manila
The Medical City / I-REACT Clinic
Ortigas Ave., Pasig City
(02) 988-1000 loc. 6765
Pasig City Treatment Hub (PATH)
CHAMP Bldg, Caruncho Ave, Pasig City
Makati Medical Center
#2 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
(02) 888-8999 loc. 2134 (CTTM) / 09178014314
St. Luke’s Medical Center—Global City
Rizal Drive cor. 32nd & 5th Ave.,Taguig City
Marikina City Satellite Treatment Hub
Shoe Ave., Sto. Niño, Marikina City
(02) 948-8925 / 09175631722
Check out this link for the list of treatment hubs and satellites around the country.