MANILA — The Quezon City government disclosed over the weekend that plans are underway for the expansion of city’s male-focused sexual health care facility ‘Klinika Bernardo’ in the Novaliches area.
According to QC mayor Herbert M. Bautista, the city’s second male sundown clinic is expected to be operational within this year will be set up in Novaliches.
Bautista cited that the expansion of the Klinika Bernardo — recognized as the country’s first male sundown clinic — to Novaliches is a part of his administration’s commitment to provide people living with HIV a greater access to quality health services.
“This is a fitting testament that the city government is concerned with addressing the needs of people living with HIV,” the mayor added.
Under the plan, the Klinika Novaliches, will be built near the Novaliches town plaza which will be equipped with HIV testing facilities.
It will be operated by medical and clinical personnel of the city health department, including trained peer educators who will be providing free counseling to clients.
To date, there is a continuing effort from the Quezon City government to develop the Klinika Bernardo as the country’s premiere place of treatment and referral for people with confirmed cases of STD/HIV/AIDS.
Its first facility is located at the back of Ramon Magsaysay High School in Cubao.
It operates from Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. to accommodate the varying schedules of the male sector especially the young working male population.
It serves as a diagnostic, treatment and referral facility for patients with sexual related diseases.
According to the mayor, countries in the ASEAN region have already recognized the Klinika Bernardo, the country’s first male sundown clinic established by the QC government, as a model clinic.
Other initiatives taken by the city government to manage and control the spread of STD/HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections is also evident with the establishment of a functional QC STD/HIV/AIDS Council (QCSAC), conduct of regular outreach HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), pre-marriage counseling and others.
In addition to these, the city conducts HIV/AIDS lectures to occupational permit applicants, and implementation of related ordinances requiring all health certificate applicants to attend HIV/AIDS seminars.
According to Dr. Rolly Cruz, of the city health department, the Quezon City is investing some PHP15 million for its HIV/AIDS control program for 2014.
Based on the AIDS/HIV registry of the city health department, there are about 492 reported HIV cases in QC in 2013.
All cases involve sexual transmission by men having sex with men.