Persons availing 'free HIV testing' doubled

THERE is likely a higher chance that the number of patients tested positive in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Cagayan de Oro City will increase, an official of the City Health Office (CHO) said Tuesday.

Dr. Joey Retuya, head of the CHO's social hygiene clinic said in an interview that from January to July this year, over 940 persons have submitted themselves of the free HIV testing in its office.

He, however, did not disclose the exact number because of confidentiality.” The number doubled compared to last year's 1,181 persons who volunteered to be tested for the whole year.

"Karon, katunga pa ta sa tuig ni-abot nata sa 900 kapin. Kung daghan pa gapa-examine dagha'y chance na dagha'y mag-positive kay kung dili sila magpa-examine, dili nato mahibal-an unsay status nila," Retuya said.

Retuya added that only 667 of the 900 are from the city and the rest comes from the other parts of the country.

"This means na mas kampante sila na diri magpa-examine sa atoa," he said.

Dr. David Mendoza, head of the Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit (RESDRU) of DOH-Northern Mindanao said during last May's HIV-AIDS Awareness campaign that the increased number of people who wanted to be tested is a 'good thing'.

"This only means that people have raised their awareness on HIV,” Mendoza said.

Last May, DOH 10 recorded 362 HIV cases in the region from 350 cases in February this year.

Also, Cagayan de Oro reportedly ranked sixth among the cities in the country with people living with HIV. Retuya urged people to be tested while it is still for free.

"Padayon ang libre na testing dinhi sa CHO sa pagka-karon," Retuya said.
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