Burnet Institute is helping to address a steady rise in HIV in the Philippines through the development of a series of demonstration sites for new health service delivery models for adolescent key populations.
Pilot sites in Cebu City, Davao City, Iloilo City, Quezon City and Zamboanga City will be established in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Philippines Department of Health, local government health services, and civil society partners.
The focus is on adolescents aged 15-19 from five key populations - young males who have sex with males (MSM), young people who sell sex, young transgender people, young people who inject drugs, and young people living with HIV.
Burnet researcher Chad Hughes, International HIV and Development Specialist in the Centre for International Health (CIH), said the demonstration sites would use best practice to address a growing problem.
“The Philippines is one of only a few countries in the world with a rapidly expanding epidemic of HIV,” Mr Hughes said.
“This is concentrated among adolescents and young people, and in particular young people from key populations.
“Adolescents face specific barriers to accessing services and we intend to find solutions to overcome these bottlenecks, ensuring adolescents have access to appropriate and effective HIV services.
“Working in partnership with broad stakeholders, Burnet will facilitate the establishment of effective models of service delivery for adolescents”.
According to the 2013 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, the Philippines is one of only nine countries globally with a more than 25 percent increase in HIV incidence for more than ten years.
Recent data shows the epidemic is concentrated among MSM and People who Inject Drugs (PWID) and disproportionately represented among young people.
Mr Hughes and CIH colleague Bruce Parnell, Principal Fellow and Public Health Specialist, will document evidence from the program to inform national authorities in the Philippines for scaling up services to other cities.