274 new HIV cases reported in region-A A +A
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
SOME 270 new cases of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) were recorded by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit 7 for the first three months this year, including a 17-year-old boy.
According to the HIV and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Registry of the Department of Health (DOH) 7, there are 274 new HIV cases reported in Central Visayas from January to March.
The number is 72 percent higher compared to the same period of last year, when 159 cases were reported.
Of the new HIV cases, six were reported to have progressed into AIDS. All six are male.
The reported modes of transmission were sexual contact and males having sex with males.
Dr. Ilya Tac-an, Cebu City epidemiologist and head of the HIV/AIDS Detection Unit of the City Health Department, said there were two reported deaths due to 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. They have difficulty reaching injecting drug users since the practice is illegal.
She said the only thing they could do is educate the injecting drug users not to share needles to avoid getting the virus.
Tac-an also said that couples who are HIV-positive should use protection 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 DOH regional office recorded a total of 2,349 HIV cases, 94 of which developed into AIDS.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 18, 2012.