DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) – Every hour, one case of HIV/AIDS infection is recorded in the Philippines.
With this, around 24 new cases of HIV/AIDs infection are recorded in a day based on the data gathered by the Department of Health in Region-7 by October this year.
But despite the spike in the number of cases recorded per day, DOH views this is not entirely negative as this could lead to early detection of HIV/AIDs cases and many people can avail of the treatment for the infection, according to DOH-7 STI-HIV program coordinator Mark Wenceslao.
This could also mean that more people are open to HIV/AIDs testing, he said.
DOH-7 continues to intensify the campaign on HIV/AIDs prevention by conducting another round of mobile voluntary testing and counselling in Negros Oriental by January to March next year.
This will cover all cities and municipalities in the province.
Wenceslao encouraged everyone to take the test as part of HIV/AIDS prevention.
Based on the records of DOH, five new cases were recorded in Bohol and 55 new cases were recorded in Cebu as of September this year while there are no new cases recorded in Negros Oriental and Siquijor during the same month.
Males remain to have the highest number HIV/AIDs cases in Central Visayas with 2,292 cases, compared to females with 246 cases as of September this year.
In terms of age group, the highest number of cases were recorded within the 15 to 24 age category, followed by 25 to 34 age group with 1, 055 cases, 25 to 49 age group with 585 cases, and 50 and above with 88 cases.
“In Region 7, we are unique because in other regions, they have a high number of cases on male having sex with male (MSM), here we have high cases of persons injecting drugs, sharing of needles,” he noted.
In Negros Oriental, there are currently three positive HIV cases recorded by the Integrated Provincial Halth Office (IPHO) and these are taking anti-retroviral drugs, said Cristina Dagle, HIV/AIDS coordinator of IPHO.
Dagle disclosed that there 600 individuals who have submitted to IPHO’s mobile voluntary testing and counselling program conducted in nine municipalities in the province recently.
Another round of voluntary testing will done next year.
She also encouraged those with acquired sexually transmitted infections (STI) to seek medical consultation as early as possible as STI can lead to HIV.
Dagle underscored to the public to practice ABCDE in preventing the spread of the virus.
“A refers to abstinence, as in no sexual contact between partners. While B is being mutually faithful to each other, C is correct condom use, D is no to drugs or alcoholic drinks and E is for education, early detection and early treatment,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Dumaguete City Health Office (CHO) has set some activities in line with the observance of World Aids Day.
According to CHO’s HIV/AIDS program coordinator Loryly Ignacio, part of these activities include a poster making contest and a street parade and zumba session on Dec. 4 at Quezon Park.
On Dec. 6, the Philippine Catholics AIDs and HIV Network (PHILCHAN) will sponsor a mass at the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria and AIDS run on Dec. 12. (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was first published at PIA Website on Dec. 3, 2015)