IN THE first quarter of 2019, the Davao City Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) reported that there are nearly 140 new cases of HIV-Aids in the city and recorded one death due to the disease.
Data from the Department of Health in Davao Region showed that in January there were 15 new HIV-Aids cases. In February it rose to 24 cases. In March, HIV-Aids increased to 101 cases, a whopping 77 percent increase from February. This is quite alarming to hear considering that this is at least three new cases per day.
Data also showed that of the 101, 95 are males while six are females. It is also alarming to note that most of the cases are among those within the ages of 25 to 34 at 52, followed by those within the age group of 15 to 24 at 45 cases. The remaining new cases are those 35 and above.
Since 1984, the RHWC reported that there have been 2,805 HIV-Aids cases in Davao City.
We have written many editorials and stories on HIV-Aids as part of our efforts to inform the public on the situation of the disease in the country and at the same time raise awareness.
The government, academe, and non-government organisations have done their respective parts in raising awareness on HIV-Aids. Some of them have also provided some sort of medical assistance to those who are infected with HIV.
The LGBTQ+ community also played a crucial role in addressing the HIV/Aids problem in the city. It is good to note that the community has been active in promoting safe sex and raising awareness on HIV-Aids. We have to acknowledge that the community has helped meet milestones in fighting HIV-Aids.
However, in addressing the HIV-Aids problem in Davao City, or in any other part of the country, there is a need to empower the families too.
Currently, we are all aware of the stigma on the discussion of reproductive health among Filipino families. Some would joke about or just totally avoid the topic.
Agencies and organizations that are raising awareness on HIV-Aids must also include information and education materials that families can use to discuss reproductive health when their children reach the right age of discussion.
In preventing the occurrence or spreading of HIV-Aids, awareness plays a key role. We also still hope that the advancements in medical science will help cure and prevent the disease in the future.