The widespread stigma, sociopolitical factors, and challenges in accessing healthcare amplify the situation for vulnerable groups. Populations disproportionately affected by HIV in 2022 included key groups, such as males having sex with males (MSM), transgender women, sex workers, trafficked women and girls, and people who inject drugs (PWID), accounting for 92% of new infections. Vulnerable populations included migrant workers, people with disabilities, individuals in enclosed spaces, and female partners of those from key populations.
Amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past couple of years, the response to HIV experienced notable setbacks. According to Jasper Ruby Vijar, a medical student and co-founder of Team Dugong Bughaw—an organisation committed to a healthier Philippines by rallying the youth of Iloilo City around awareness of HIV and AIDS—the RAJAH Centre has been instrumental in providing life-saving support services and maintaining consistent advocacy and education.
“Beyond support, the centre represents our collective resolve and commitment to meaningful change.”