Cebu News

39 die of HIV-related causes in Central Visayas in September

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the Department of Health-7 reported that Central Visayas had a total of 8,861 HIV-AIDS cases since 1984 up to September 2022.

Latest data show that of the said figure, 7,785 cases were in Cebu; 426 cases in Bohol; 424 cases in Negros Oriental; and 26 cases in Siquijor.

There were 7,939 males and 731 females infected with the dreaded virus in the same period.

Age group 25-34 has the highest number of those infected with 4,124 cases while 16 were infected from the less than 15 years old age group.

Other age groups, 15-24 have 2,422 cases; 34-49 ages with 1,811 cases; 50 and older with 283 cases; and five cases with unknown age groups.

As to the mode of transmission, males having sex with males only have 3,285 cases; male person who inject drugs with 2,317 cases; males having sex with males and females with 1,614 cases; male to female sex with 1,614 cases; female person who inject drugs with 144 cases; mother to child transmission with 14 cases; and 88 cases for unknown mode of transmission.

Of the 8,861 HIV-AIDS cases in the region, 491 have died already. Data also show that from January to September 2022, 134 have died, of which 39 died for the month of September 2022 alone.

It was also reported that there were 415 overseas Filipino workers infected with the disease in the same period.

The data further added that there are 4,292 persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) on Anti- Retroviral Therapy (ART) as of September 2022.

DOH states that since the first reported HIV infection in the country in 1984, there have been 105,794 confirmed HIV cases reported to the HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP).

It added that from January 1984 to September 2022, Central Visayas is among the top five regions with the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases.

Meanwhile, to contribute to the global goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 and the annual observance of the World AIDS Day, DOH has launched the 7th AIDS Medium Term Plan (AMTP) and called for equal access to services for PLHIV as well as full protection of human rights.

This year’s World AIDS Day theme, “Putting Ourselves to the Test, Achieving Equity to End HIV” calls for bold, urgent action to promote rights-based, community-led, and evidence-based HIV services including prevention, sexual and reproductive health services, HIV testing, treatment, care and support.

The celebration also emphasizes accountability and action, affirming the country’s participation in the Global AIDS Strategy (2021-2026) that seeks to reduce inequalities by 2025 that drive the AIDS epidemic.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire, in a statement, said that the ongoing HIV and AIDS epidemic in the country remains to be one of the long-standing issues requiring concerted action from all sectors of society.

She said that while the DOH strives to ensure continuous, unhampered provision of health services to all Filipinos, they also require the support of other sectors and stakeholders to cultivate a sustainable and supportive environment that is responsive to the needs of our vulnerable and key populations–such as our PLHIVs.

“The goal of ending AIDS can only be achieved if the inequalities that predispose us to the disease and exacerbate its impacts are addressed,” Singh-Vergeire added.

The World AIDS Day (WAD) is celebrated every first day of December annually around the world to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of this health problem. — GMR (FREEMAN)


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