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HIV CASES RISING

June 24 - 30, 2017

DONGON – The provincial health office recently sounded the alarm on the increasing number of Southern Leyteños infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which, according to HIV Provincial Coordinator Eunice Aida Batalon, is statistically trending upward.

Batalon cited the number of HIV cases which, according to the Salvacion Oppus Yñiguez Memorial Provincial Hospital (SOYMPH), steadily rose in the past five years.

“People nowadays are becoming more aware of HIV and thus decided to get tested. There are also some who have had the virus for so long but were unaware until they got tested,” she said in an interview.

Batalon said that the provincial hospital has already recorded about 70 patients, cumulative from the past five years, who underwent counselling. At least 11 deaths were already reported and there is an increasing number of positive cases.

“It is alarming since, based on records, there’s one reported death for as young as 17 years old,” Batalon stressed.

Amid the increasing number of reported HIV patients, the government has continuously embarked on a program that focuses on HIV-AIDS awareness and is constantly informing the public thru its intensified information campaign in local government units for caution in indulgence in sexual intercourse.

The health officer also noted that in her research, most of the HIV-infected fall
under the 12-72 age bracket, wherein majority are males.

HIV can be acquired through unprotected sex, (more particularly anal sex), blood transfusion, and sharing of needles.

The officer also encourages those who are “hi-risk” of getting infected, those with active sexual relations with unknown partners,overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and men who have sex with men (MSM), to seek early consultation and have themselves voluntarily undertake HIV testing and screening procedures.

Health records show that 95% of the HIV-infections were caused by MSM sexual intercourse.

“Although the disease is still incurable, an early consultation would still make a
difference to at least lengthen the lives of those who are HIV-positive.” she ended.

The government had offered antiretroviral drugs (the most common treatment prescribed by doctors) to slow down the replication and spreading of the virus that attacks the body’s vital organs, aside from the treatment hubs.(By MARK L. RIMAS)








 

 

 

   

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