Ian Jeffrey Addatu

IN CELEBRATION of the Worlds AIDS Day with the theme “Hands Up for HIV Prevention”, experts advised sexually active individuals to undergo HIV test now in Baguio City.

Dr. Zoraida Clavio, HIV Surveillance team member of Baguio City said there are HIV testing centers in the city where sexually active individuals can go to have their test for free such as the Baguio Health Services Office, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) and other private centers.

Clavio said those who have multiple sexual partners should not be afraid to go to facilities because results of the tests to remain confidential and if tests prove positive, there will be a thorough examination before it will be released with comprehensive counseling.

“Huwag matakot na sasabihin sa mga doktor na ako ay may sakit na HIV AIDS,” Clavio said.

“Ang HIV naman kasi ay dalawa ang mukha. Ang HIV na mukha ay parang tayo, asymptomatic, walang nangyayari pero nandoon sa ating katawan yung virus and then yung AIDS, yan na yung at the end of siguro mga 10 years or 12 years pag tayo ay nagkasakit na kung anu-ano ang nararamdaman, pwede na tayong mamatay nun,” Clavio said.

Clavio explained earlier detection of HIV remains the best option for individuals who test positive as anti-retroviral drugs will be provided by the Department of Health, other concerned agencies and the private sectors.

HIV-AIDS can be transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person and through sharing of injection needles with each other during drug activities. Child born from HIV-positive women can be infected with the virus before or during birth. It can also be transmitted through blood transfusion, blood products or organ/tissue transplants that are contaminated with HIV.

To prevent the said virus, individuals are advised to use protection such as condoms, or to have one sexual partner only or if not to abstain from any sexual activity.

DOH record reveals some 3,112 new HIV/AIDS cases were documented in July to October, bringing the total this year to 7,756, raising the figure to 38,114 the total number of cases since 1984.