HIV-Aids cases dropped in 2011-A A +A
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
HUMAN Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome HIV-AIDS cases in Cebu City dropped last year compared to 2010’s.
Records of the City Health Department’s (CHD) HIV/AIDS Detection Unit showed that in 2010, there were 182 cases, while only 140 were reported last year.
Of the 140 HIV-AIDS cases, 79 percent (110) of them contracted the virus by sharing needles in injecting drugs, and 31 percent (30) by way of sexual intercourse, which includes heterosexual (9) and homosexual (21) transmissions.
Dr. Ilya Tac-an, city epidemiologist and head of the HIV/AIDS Detection Unit, said there were two reported deaths from AIDS last year, while only one was reported in 2010.
Tac-an admitted it’s easier for them to reach out to commercial sex workers, but they have difficulties in extending their programs to injecting drug users because the practice is illegal in the Philippines.
She said the only thing they could do is educate the public that sharing needles is a very risky practice.
This, as the CHD continues to promote their A, B, C, D, and E programs to prevent the HIV/AIDS virus from spreading.
A stands for abstinence of sex, B for be faithful (having a mutual monogamous relationship), C for correct and constant use of condom, D for don’t use drugs or don’t share needles, and E for early detection (by voluntary testing).
Tac-an said couples, particularly those who are infected with the virus, should also practice family planning to avoid pregnancy.
“We will just intensify our program in educating the people and urge drug users and other individuals with risky sexual behavior to undergo HIV test regularly so the infection can be detected early,” Tac-an said.
Last year, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded a total of 2,349 HIV cases, 94 of which have progressed into AIDS.
The DOH earlier projected that HIV/AIDS cases will rise by 14,000 this year and 60 percent of that will be in Metro Manila, Cebu City and Davao City, based on the demographic profile of city dwellers.
Tac-an said the projection may be realistic because they already registered 31 HIV/AIDS cases in the city for January alone.
The HIV/AIDS Detection Unit head clarified, though, that the reported cases will be subject to confirmatory test in DOH-Manila.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 31, 2012.