ORAS, Eastern Samar -- The rural health unit (RHU) here will launch a health awareness advocacy this month to prevent the infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

A coordinator of the Department of Health (DOH) in Eastern Visayas will orient residents here regarding measures on prevention and encourage people to undergo screening.

“Instead of being afraid of HIV, people should be encouraged to have HIV screening so that as early as possible, they will know if they need prevention or treatment," assistant municipal nutrition action officer Liezel Balaca said.

Balaca said there was a 42-year-old man who died having HIV symptoms, yet it was not verified because he died before the final test. He tested positive on the initial screening.

“The problem was that when he got the symptoms of an HIV positive, he didn't undergo a screening because he was on the in-denial stage. It was too late when he decided to undergo screening. Unfortunately, he died," she said.

The whole Eastern Samar province was alarmed upon hearing reports that Oras town had an HIV positive person. But the RHU said there are no records yet of HIV positive person in the town.

The DOH asked those suspected of having HIV to come out so they could be screened and treated to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Since 1984 up to May 2015, Eastern Visayas has recorded 220 HIV positive cases. (PNA)