34 people die from HIV/AIDS this year
AROUND 34 individuals have already died after being infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS) in Central Visayas this year.
According to the Department of Health (DOH7) Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), 747 cases of HIV/AIDS were already reported to them from January to September this year.
Francis Irvin Baring, Nurse III of DOH-7, told reporters that in the month of September alone, the region has recorded 91 new cases of HIV/AIDS.
“Every day, 32 cases of HIV/AIDS were reported to us in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. As of September 2018, we already have 60,207 cases nationwide,” Baring said, adding that Central Visayas ranks fourth among the regions in the country with highest cases of HIV/AIDS.
The National Capital Region has the highest cases of HIV/AIDS in the country, followed by Regions 4A and 3.
From 1984 up to present, Central Visayas has already recorded 5,356 cases of HIV/AIDS, wherein 91 percent or 4,913 cases come from Cebu province.
“It’s alarming because this is not only an epidemic but pandemic also and we are hoping that the public will become aware of this,” he added.
“79 percent of total cases (nationwide) are due to sexual activities or condom-less sex. HIV cases also increase due to new infections because the public is now aware of the free and confidential HIV testing,” he said.
Aside from their usual information, education and communication (IEC) campaign in preventing the disease, Baring said they are now coordinating with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7) in requiring Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies to include HIV testing of their employees before hiring them.
“We are partnering with DOLE in terms of operation of companies to require them on the TB (Tuberculosis), HIV, Hepatitis and drug awareness campaign before operation. 80 percent of the BPOs were already covered on this campaign,” Baring added.