Monday, May 25, 2015

AIDS on the rise in Naga

NAGA CITY—The dramatically increasing number of cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus infections and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) here is concerning authorities.
City Health Officer Dr. Vito “Butch” Borja said in an interview with BICOL STANDARD that as of their latest records this month, 41 in this city are infected by the dreaded disease.

AIDS on the rise in Naga

This figure shot up from the 38 cases that was recorded as of December 2014, and more than double the number from the 20 cases that were recorded in 2013.

The different hospitals in Naga are helping the City Health Office record the data, Borja said.

Risk

A majority of the cases, he explained, are due to men having sex with other men, or MSM.
Having multiple sexual partners also greatly increases the risk of contracting the disease, he said.

According to the Philippine National AIDS Council, HIV is transmitted via blood, semen, vaginal/cervical fluids, and breastmilk.

It is transmitted by having unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral), with someone who is HIV positive; having infected blood transfused into the body, sharing syringes and needles for drugs, tattoos, or skin piercing with someone who is HIV-positive; and through mothers to their unborn babies and through breastfeeding.

Not alarmed

City Mayor John Bongat, however, did not register alarm over the rising number of cases.

Interviewed by the media last week, Bongat confirmed the growing number, but said the city already has an AIDS council to take care of such matters.

Most of them, he said, did not contract the virus in the city, but were infected in Manila or abroad.

The AIDS issue came up as the Department of Health (DOH) last week conducted free HIV testing in various clinics across the nation on what was called “National HIV Testing Week.”

On Sunday, the annual mobilization campaign for AIDS awareness billed as “International AIDS Candlelight Memorial” was held in various cities, including this one.—With reports from Ron-Ron Enon, BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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