Davao City down to 6th place on HIV cases

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DAVAO CITY (May 17)  — The number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases recorded in Davao City have decreased for the month of April at 43 compared to the 52 cases in the same period last year.

City Health Office’s health education and population officer Priscilla M. Senoc said on Thursday’s I-Speak Media Forum, that the increase of HIV cases in the province could be one factor why Davao’s rank went down to sixth place.

“Ang usa ka factor niana kay ang ubang provinces kay nag increase pud ilang mga cases (One of the factors there could be the other provinces also increase their number of cases),” she said.

In the latest HIV/AIDS registry of Department of Health (DOH), the city was down to the sixth spot with 43 of 912 new cases in the whole country.

DOH data showed that the National Capital Region (NCR) is still on the top with 294 cases, followed by Region 4-A or CaLaBaRZon area with 153, Region 7 (Central Visayas) at 85, Region 3 (Central Luzon) at 85 and Region 6 (Western Visayas) at 50.

Senoc, however, said people should not be complacent since there are 32 new cases being recorded every day which is higher than last year’s 30.

The DOH report said that 21 deaths that resulted from HIV/AIDS for the said period were recorded.

The report stated that sexual contact remains the predominant mode of transmission, totaling to 899 of the 912 cases.

A total of 774 cases or 86 percent of them are males who have sex with males (MSM) population.

The MSM recorded 542 cases; followed by 232 for those having sex with both male and female or bisexuals and 125 for male-to-female sexual contact.

Another mode of transmission was needle sharing among drug users, totaling to 11 cases.

The new cases added to the figures in January, which totaled to 1,021; and February, with 871 cases, bringing the total for the first quarter of 2018 to 2,804 new HIV cases.

From 1984 up to the March 2018, a total of 53,192 HIV cases were recorded by the agency.

Of the said number, 5,484 cases developed into AIDS cases that resulted to 2,518 deaths.

On the other hand, the Mindanao Aids Allance Advocates Inc. (MAAAI) secretary Razz Catipay urged all people to take the HIV test especially those people with multiple parters this is to ensure their health status.

Catipay said that their group is now making efforts in reaching out people in their workplacs to encouraged them to take the test.

This is to ensure that if ever they already have the virus, it would be immediately suppressed with Anti-Retroviral medicines which are given free by the DOH.

He said the workplaces that their group visited are banana plantations and Business Processing and Outsourcing Companies in the region.

Meanwhile, Senoc said the Davao City AIDS Council will stage the International AIDS Candle Light Memorial on Friday afternoon to commemorate those people who died due to HIV and AIDS.

“There will be candle lighting and prayer and that will be a moment of prayer for those who died with AIDS,” she said.-Armando B. Fenequito Jr./Newsline.ph

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