Constraints in reporting Aids death noted

DEATH from the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) are sometimes not reflected in death certificates out of respect for the families.

Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) head Jordana Ramiterre said in an interview with Sunstar Davao Friday, November 9, that the reason they are having difficulty obtaining the correct number of fatalities is that some families do not report the death as related to HIV or Aids due to social stigma.

Death certificates are public documents and can be seen by other people which is why HIV or Aids is often not listed as cause of death to protect the deceased and the family.

"Hindi naman necessary outright Aids yung ilagay doon (Aids will not necessarily be stated in the death certificate)," Ramiterre said.

She said only the patient's immediate cause of death, like pneumonia or tuberculosis, is stated in the death certificate.

"It would be understandable to our medical personnel but not everyone understands it," Ramiterre said.

She also said that when an HIV/Aids patient dies in a hospital the death report or Form D will be sent to the Epidemiology Bureau of Department of Health (DOH) but the privacy of the deceased is strictly observed.

Meanwhile, it has been reported recently that about 125 patients have died from HIV/Aids in the city since 1984.

Ramittere added that this data shows that treatment is effective among patients who take medication regularly.

"We don't want deaths because ARV (antiretroviral drugs) is life-saving," Ramiterre said.


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