700 percent hike in HIV cases reported in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY – Human immune virus (HIV) cases in the city drastically increased by seven hundred percent last year which caused health authorities to press the alarm button to alert people on the unprecedented rise in the number of HIV-affected persons in the city.

City Health Services Office Nurse Cristina Juan said that from 4 HIV cases in 2016, there were 32 HIV cases were recorded by the office’s social hygiene clinic in the city last year, an alarming increase according to concerned sectors.

Of the 32 recorded HIV cases last year, 2 were said to be males, 1 was a pregnant woman while the rest were men having sex with men.

From January 2018 to date, Juan said the local health department discovered 10 new HIV cases who were all men having sex with men.

Geeny Anne I. Austria, a nurse at the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), said with the drastic increase in the number of cases in the city, Baguio was elevated to the category of a high risk area in terms of the proliferation of the illness, the same as the National Capital Region, Cebu and Pampanga.

Further, Austria reported that Baguio City accounted for 301 HIV cases out of the 405 cases that were recorded by the agency from 1984 to January this year.

Based on recent studies done by the agency, men having sex with men or those involved in unprotected sex are the ones that top the list of the new HIV cases while those who are involved in the vulnerable sector like the commercial sex workers are the ones that have registered a significant decline in the number of individuals afflicted with the dreaded illness because of the constant monitoring done on them by the health authorities and personnel.

She explained individuals who initially contract HIV could eventually result to full-blown Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) that could eventually lead to death once their immune system shall have been significantly affected.

Of the 405 HIV cases recorded in the Cordillera from 1984 to January this year, 301 cases are from Baguio City, 47 cases came from Benguet, 41 cases were from Abra, 10 cases each were from Kalinga and Ifugao and 7 cases were said to be from Mountain Province.

Health authorities advised individuals to practice safe and protected sex to prevent them from contracting the dreaded illness, especially when their partners have already been affected with the virus.

Further, individuals who have multiple partners were reminded to seek the appropriate medical attention from the nearest health facility to detected illnesses at their early stages.

By HENT

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