Boholanos alarmed on HIV/AIDS rise

Boholanos alarmed
on HIV/AIDS rise

Controlling the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) should be more than just counting the victims, a futile attempt for accuracy.

Provincial health officer, Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot, pushed for a major move to get the accurate data on the rising cases of HIV infection to be able to come up with well-calculated measures to stop the spread of the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Cabagnot laments that there could be more than what the figures show, because HIV patients who either deny or are unaware of their infection could remain in the closet while being protected by law in terms of privacy.

With their identities protected, they could spread the virus without being monitored regarding the number of the next pass-on victims.

As to the latest record, Bohol ranks no. 2, next to Cebu, in the number of HIV cases in the Central Visayas region.Last tyear of the 17 regions in the Philippines , Central Visayas region ranked no. 3 with 14 percent, while the National Capital Region ranked first with 41 percent, and Region 4 ranked No. 2 with 15 percent of the total number of cases nationwide.

This is based on the figures of prevalence of HIV positive cases recorded by the UNAIDS, the United Nations’ program on HIV/AIDS:the National Capital Region ranked first with 41 percent, followed by Region 4a with 15 percent and Region 7 with 14 percent as of 2013.

With just a small gap of one percent, Region 7 is feared to rise to the level of the second placer as to the number of HIV cases.

This brings to fore the concern on sex tourism, especially that Bohol is one of the top destinations of the country.

A symposium on HIV/AIDS had recently held in Dumaguete City wherein it was cited that Region 7 is now a “hot spot”, considering that the total number of HIV positive cases from 2011-2013 already surpassed the total number of cases reported for the first 25 years since the virus was discovered.

In Bohol, the provincial health officer warned that HIV/AIDS is already pandemic. this is found in all small places in the World, making it a global problem.

Worse, there is no cure found yet. The most the health officials could do is intensify public awareness campaign to remind the people to prevent from getting infected.

Cabagnot reminded the public that the most effective way to prevent HIV is safe sex–citing the use of condom as an example, or refraining from promiscuous activities.

Another reminder from Cabagnot is the susceptibility of drug users for multiple use of syringe that could be contaminated after being used on an infected person.

Another concern is the commercial sex workers who are either prone to infection from customers who are carriers. The disease could be passed on the next set of customers, almost unknowingly.

On this, Cabagnot they should be registered so that they could be monitored through weekly hygiene check.

However, it is a reality that there are ” freelancers” in commercial sex underground economy that the health agencies of the government have no way of monitoring.

Cabagnot also raised the concern on the Overseas Filipino Workers who might get lonely abroad and explore sex escapades without protection from sexually transmitted diseases thus contracting HIV.

One way to avoid getting infected by a partner is to expose the identity of the HIV-infected person, according to Cabagnot.

However, he believes no lawmaker is interested to instigate an amendment to the law that protects their identities, he added.

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