Management of the Department of Health

Code:    Proj-471
Date:    02/07/1990 - 06/30/1990
Duration: 5 Months

The Foundation launched the AIDS Hotline Service for and in behalf of DOH on February 7, 1990 with the following objectives: (1) To provide callers with accurate information on basic and medical factors about the deadly disease, AIDS; and (2) to correct misconceptions, unfounded fears and biases about AIDS. When the project started, there were four full-time counselors and one reliever who manned the telephone lines from 1:00-9:00 p.m., Mondays thru Saturdays. Simultaneous with the launching of the hotline service was a multimedia promotional campaign which included ads on television and radio, and newspaper articles on some misconceptions about the disease. A monitoring form was designed for the counselors to fill up. It enabled the research staff to keep track of the number and nature of calls received, as well as the callers profile, their inquiries, problems about AIDS, and common misconceptions about the disease. The AIDS Hotline Service ended June 30, 1990. Even after this date, however, callers continued to dial the hotlines.The most significant accomplishment of the project was the wealth of research data culled from the numerous calls received for the duration of the project. In sum, the typical AIDS caller was a Filipino male, single, between 20-24 years old. More often than not, the hotline caller was categorized as a ""worried well"" or one who thinks he has AIDS because of past sexual encounters, or a curious individual who simply wanted to know about AIDS and its modes of transmission, prevention and control. It was interesting to note that not one caller was a confirmed AIDS victim. In its short span of operation, the AIDS Hotline was rated successful, for the following reasons: (1) It generated a total of 5,124 calls up to June 30. (The calls after this date were not recorded.) (2) It was able to refer callers with inquiries about AIDS to various agencies, the most popular of which were: Manila Health Department of Social Hygiene Clinic, World Health Organization, Bureau of Research and Laboratories, Public Information and Health Education Service (PIHES of DOH), Kabalikat and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. (3) Callers with various fears about AIDS were also referred to these and other agencies under the network, for further information or counseling.