Region 7 has 98 new HIV cases, one death
May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - April 10, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Ninety-eight new cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections and one death have been recorded by the Department of Health in Central Visayas since January.

DOH-7 medical officer Dr. Van Phillip Baton confirmed the death was reported in January according to the latest registry of DOH Epidemiology Bureau.

"Most of the deaths are caused by late diagnosis or treatment," said Baton, who currently sits as the DOH-7 local coordinator for the National AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) and STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) Prevention and Control Program.

He said this single case for this year brings up to 118 the individuals who died due to complications of HIV/AIDS since monitoring started in 1984.

Also in January, Baton said Central Visayas has another nine already diagnosed with AIDS, which is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.

To note, HIV differs from AIDS. HIV is a virus while AIDS is a medical condition that can develop due to HIV infection.

The same with the previous years, Cebu Province has majority of the HIV/AIDS cases. Of the 98 new cases, 86 were recorded in Cebu and seven out of nine AIDS patients were also reported here.

Baton, however, clarified that cases are recorded from where the patients got tested and not their actual residence.

As transmissions of this infection become rampant, Baton advised people to get tested regularly so that they can access anti-retroviral treatment and prevent their condition from getting worse.

The health department has offered some measures to help people living with HIV by encouraging them to avail of HIV testing. Baton said there are free testing services open to anyone if they want to be screened for HIV available at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City and some rural health units.

He added by knowing their condition, patients can be given early interventions and management of the illness that can stop it from worsening, which may result in their death. (FREEMAN)

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