Briones: Preventing the spread of HIV/Aids

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Briones: Preventing the spread of HIV/Aids

Getting alarmed because of the number of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cases in Cebu City doesn’t address the problem.

Nor does asking the City Health Department (CHD) for an update on how many cases were reported since January this year and comparing these to the number of cases in the last three years.

Although, I shouldn’t be too hard on City Councilor Rey Gealon, who, if I’m not mistaken, used to be a municipal councilor in Argao before he gave up his post to move to the city for “greener pastures.”

After all, he just wants to coordinate with the CHD and the City Council “on how to find ways to prevent the spread of the virus.”

According to a report that came out in September, Cebu City accounted for 59 percent of new HIV cases in the country in 2022 with 4,993 individuals. Majority, or 45 percent, belonged to the age group 25 to 34 years old, followed by those between 15 and 24 at 27 percent.

Maybe they didn’t have HIV in Argao so that would excuse his ignorance, but, let’s see, it has been more than 40 years since HIV/Aids (acquired immune deficiency disease syndrome) became a worldwide public health issue and although there is still no cure, there is a way to control it with HIV treatment.

In other words, it’s not an automatic death sentence and governments around the world have been dealing with it ever since.

Of course, many people still die of it but then people die anyways, whether they are HIV positive or not.

According to, around 650,000 people succumbed to Aids-related illnesses globally in 2021 and over 40 million lives were lost to the disease since the epidemic started in 1981.

I don’t mean to sound flippant but for someone who has been aware of the disease in the last four decades, I have learned to move on.

But to assuage the city councilor’s fears, perhaps we should revisit the problem.

First of all, does he know how people get HIV?

For the most part, it’s through anal or vaginal sex without the use of a condom or through the sharing of needles with someone who is infected.

In the past, some people got infected through blood transfusion but I think they do a screening for that nowadays.

With that said, isn’t it prudent to teach students in school about the dangers of unprotected sex? If teachers are not comfortable with the subject, they can always direct students to a website that will do the teaching for them.

Or maybe City Councilor Gealon can ask people to stop having unprotected sex or sharing needles.

In the meantime, there are boys and girls who are living on the streets trying to survive.


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