Editorial: HIV-Aids now fast and furious-A A +A
Sunday, September 1, 2013
JUST in case you have been so caught up with the news on the pork barrel, don’t. Yes, we have been robbed, systemically robbed in fact by legislators who have found a way to funnel off precious taxpayers money into their greedy hands, through private individuals. But, life goes on. Meaning, let us attend to our outrage, live up to it, in fact; but let us not forget to attend to other pressing concerns as well.
Among them, the continuous increase in the number of HIV cases.
From “low and slow” a decade ago, the Philippine National Aids Council (PNAC) itself said that the rate of spread is now “fast and furious.”
As the latest Philippine HIV-Aids Registry Report of the Department of Health shows, “ninety-five percent of the 2,323 cases in 2013 were males (2,212). Ages ranged from 4 to 79 years old (median 28 years). The 20-29 year old age group had the most (58 percent) number of cases for 2013. For the male age group, the most number of cases were found among the 20-24 years old (25 percent), 25-29 years old (34 percent), and 30-34 years old (21 percent).”
The disease that continues to throttle the immune system of persons is fast creeping into our male population at their most productive years. The 2,323 cases recorded from January to June 2013, incidentally, is the first time in seven months that a new record-high has been recorded.
This is no laughing matter, and the longer we dawdle over availability of information on reproductive health, more and more young men, still believing that HIV-Aids cannot afflict them, will become another statistic in the registry.
Those in a position to make such information available to the youth need not look far on why the HIV cases are increasing.
“Of the 14,025 HIV positive cases reported from 1984 to 2013, 93 percent (13,036) were infected through sexual contact, 4 percent (531) through needle sharing among injecting drug users, <1 percent (60) through mother-to-child transmission, <1 percent (20) through blood transfusion and needle prick injury <1 percent (3). No data is available for 3 percent (375) of the cases,” the report reads.
What this is saying is that, all these reported cases have had unprotected sex. There is no denying that fact.
No amount of pontification nor threats of fire and brimstone can change the fact that the young are having sex, now deal with that.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 02, 2013.