RITM suspends HIV testing to prioritize COVID-19 response

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 6) — The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has temporarily suspended on Monday its HIV drug testing to focus on COVID-19 response.

In an advisory, the RITM said that it is now refocusing its available manpower and resources to augment the needs of the ongoing efforts on COVID-19.

"In line with the ongoing RITM COVID-19 response, HIV drug resistance testing and viral load testing services in the Institute will be temporarily suspended until further notice," the research institute announced.

Aside from HIV drug resistance testing and viral load testing, some of its laboratory and hospital services have also been temporarily put on hold.

Last March 30, the RITM issued a notice of job vacancies to make room for additional manpower amid the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

As of noon on Monday, the Health Department reported that 3,246 individuals have contracted the virus in the country.