CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Despite the continuous education and awareness campaigns over the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the Department of Health Region Central Luzon still recorded additional cases this year.

DOH-Central Luzon HIV Medical Coordinator Eloisa Vidar said Pampanga has recorded two Aids-positive and 16 HIV-positive patients as of the second quarter of the year alone.

In terms of the number of cases, Pampanga ranked second to Bulacan.

The Aids victims are residents of Angeles and Mabalacat cities respectively. Angeles City also recorded eight HIV-positive patients, two from Apalit, one from Arayat, one from Lubao, one from Porac and one from Sto. Tomas town.

"This is significantly lower from the identified cases from the same period last year but we are still worried since Aids and HIV are not just typical diseases that can be cured," Vidar said.

She added the said recorded cases will add to the current 85 Aids cases and 754 HIV casesin the province since the disease was discovered in 1984.

Vidar explained that number of victims is persistently tallied since no sector has recorded a victim who was cured of the disease.

"We cannot really say that a patient is cured because the virus always has the tendency to regenerate. Patients are only advised to take their medicines faithfully during their lifetime to ensure that their immune systems are well built," she said.

Vidar asserted that medicines available in the market nowadays are more effective and reliable compared to the past. These are now offered by government for free.

She added several public hospitals also offer free testing and consultation for those who want to be examined.

"We are urging everyone to get tested regularly because it is the only way to secure ourselves from the virus," she said, adding that protection during sexual intercourse is still the most reliable preventive measure.