BAGUIO CITY – Thirteen new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were registered in Baguio City from January to August this year, the Department of Health (DOH) has reported the Epidemiology Bureau.
This gives 307 the total number of HIV / AIDS cases in the city since the surveillance started in 1984.
"This increases," noted Marlene de Castro, acting head of the Baguio Aids Watch Council (AWAC), and executive director of the Baguio Center for Young Adults (BCYA). Saying a single case is already a cause for concern to have to be addressed quickly.
In addition to launching World AIDS Day in Baguio City Hall on Monday, Castro said that five of these new cases were recorded in August alone.
The majority of cases were mostly men or men who had sex with men.
"We have more male cases. This is because of men's risky behavior and most are men who have sex with men (MSM)," said Castro.
Dr Zoraida Clavio, director of the City Government Public Health Laboratory and member of the HIV / AIDS Monitoring Group, said that workers at entertainment clubs, including those with risky behavior, should undergo tests.
"This is because of sexual adventurism," they said Castro.
She also invited everyone to undergo testing, in line with the World AIDS Day theme, "Feel your status".
"It will be like a firepowder. Slow but will certainly eat people. That's why there's really a need to strengthen the advocacy and information campaign," said the DOH official.
Information from the Castro office also shows that in Cordillera there are a total of 457 HIV / AIDS cases from 1984 to August 2018.
Benguet has 54 cases; Abra, 50; Kalinga, 13; Ifugao, 12; Apayao, 11; Mountain Province, 10; and Baguio, 307.
In total, 61 new cases were noted in the January-July period in the region.
HIV / AIDS is not transmitted by talking to a person living with AIDS.
The Castro said that the dreaded virus is transmitted through unprotected sex, where the vaginal fluid or the poorer fluid has the HIV virus. by blood transfusion; and perinatal or an infected pregnant mother who transmits the virus to the fetus.
More touch of a person who has AIDS is not a cause of the infection being infected, they Castro insured.
"Even through kisses you need gallon gallon saliva to transfer the virus. You can hold your hands. Touch the person," she said.
The Castro noted that while people living with HIV / AIDS-infected people are usually those who are afraid to catch the disease, it must be regrettable because their immune system is low and getting cold from other people can worsen their condition .
Go to testing
"We are familiar with our sexual behavior. Mostly, we need to know who we have sex with. But the problem is that people do not admit it and they only learn about their state when the virus becomes asymptomatic," says De Castro.
She called on the public to undergo HIV / AIDS testing if they are aware of their risky behavior, adding DOH gives it free.
According to the Castro, there are people with AIDS living productively as they learned their status early and undergo treatment to boost their immune system. "If detected late, it can already affect human immune systems and it can cause the person's life," she said.
The establishment on Monday of a test facility in the Baguio City Hall lobby is part of the campaign that anyone can go for testing, for the public to remove stigmatization as testing is evidence of having the disease.
De Castro explained that the test is available and the results are confidential with DOH. If a person is positive, he or she is called for advice and is referred to the treatment hub, where drugs that increase the immune system are provided.
"Important yun [counselling] Kasi pag nalaman mo na positive, you will be destroyed. So agapan mo yun na Things can be done through antiretroviral treatment (counseling is important because when you know you're positive, you'd feel ruined so you have to act while it's still early), "she said.
Clavio agreed and said that even those who do not work in nightclubs need to know their status.
"Professional or even workers, if they think they have the risk factors, they must have HIV testing," she urged.
In Baguio, the social health clinic for the city government performs free testing. The State Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, as well as other hospitals in the city, also carry out HIV / AIDS testing.
"Itong ginagawa natin is society HIV testing is a quick test in a few minutes, about 10-15. After a dot on the finger, the blood is placed on the test strip and immediately the result is known, Clavio explained.
If this is positive, the results will be sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) or at San Lazaro Hospital for confirmation, while the person is initially given drugs to increase the immune system.
"HIV / AIDS is not treatable, but there is a need to give drugs to suppress the virus that causes the body's body to be weak, which is managed by the treatment habits, even at the social health center," continued Clavio.
The alphabet of prevention
The Castro shared "ABC" for prevention: A for detention; B to be mutually faithful to your partner C for consistent use of condoms; D for Define Your Behavior and Z to Zip Your Pants. (PNA)