Manila, AIDS Watch Indonesia (April 4, 2014) - A mobile telecommunications service aimed at curbing the rise in HIV/AIDS in the Philippine capital region of Metro Manila was launched here today.
The Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC), a public-private advisory body, partnered with Philippine NGO Support Program and local mobile telecommunications firm Globe Telecommunications for the "TXT HIV to 8504" campaign.
The SMS-based campaign was designed to provide information and referral to HIV counseling, testing, and life-saving treatment programs. Globe subscribers may avail of the service for free for one year.
PNAC said the campaign is also in line with the United Nation's advocacy for information and communication technology-based initiatives to combat HIV which had infected 17,450 Filipinos since 1984.
The public-private initiative, PNAC Executive Director Ferchito Avelino said, hopes to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS particularly in the National Capital Region which was identified as having a high number of new HIV cases.
Based on figures released by the Philippine Department of Health (DOH), the number of new HIV/AIDS cases in the January to February period has already reached 934. In the month of February alone, the DOH recorded 486 new HIV/AIDS cases.
Avelino said the service was made available through mobile phones as Filipinos have come to regard it as indispensable devices for information and services.
Citing 2009 data from Business Wire, PNAC said the Philippines is touted as the "Text Capital of the World" with more than 1.39 million text messages sent daily. (Xinhua/philstar.com).