THE Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/Aids) cases in Davao City reached 217 from January to June 2017, the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) in Davao City reported.
Based on RHWC's latest data obtained from Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH), out of the 217 cases, 202 are males and 15 are females.
Davao City currently has 2,080 HIV/Aids cases since 1984.
The total number of cases this year was lower than the 234 cases recorded in January to June 2016.
There were 102 individuals aging 25 to 34 who tested positive of HIV/Aids; 82 whose ages range from 15 to 24; 31 cases for ages 35 to 49; and 50 above with one. There is also one case for ages 15 below, based on June 2017 data.
As to the mode of transmission, male to male sexual intercourse remain on top with 122; followed by males having sex with males and females with 67; heterosexual with 27; and one mother to child. Three deaths have been also recorded.
RHWC head Dr. Jordana Ramiterre earlier attributed HIV/Aids cases to easier access to sex services, issue over sexual practices, and change of behavior among young group. Virus may arise to those engaged into risky sexual behaviors.
HIV is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse (anal/vaginal), transfusion of contaminated blood, sharing of contaminated needles and between a mother and her infant during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
Only 65 percent of the 2,080 HIV-Aids cases since 1984 underwent HIV treatment, which is the Anti-Retro Viral Therapy (ART), and 110 died regardless of the ART status. In 2017, 81 people were tested.
"There are still people who are hesitant to undergo a test due to financial constraints, or in-denial, not yet ready, and the fear of being discriminated," Save the Children of the Philippines psych-implementation officer Eddie Batoon said.
RHWC, together with other concerned government agencies, is continuously doing its prevention education and peer education program, among others, to curb the increase of the HIV-Aids cases in Davao City and in the region, as well.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on January 12, 2018.
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