BAGUIO CITY – Occurrence of HIV/AIDS in Cordillera is on an increasing trend despite the worldwide effort to reduce the number of cases by half.
According to Geeny Anne Austria, Nurse V- Infectious Disease Cluster of the DOH-CAR Office, the Philippine AIDS Registry Bureau recorded 237 cases of HIV-AIDS from all of the provinces of Cordillera since 1984 to February 2016.
Baguio city tops the list with 168 cases, followed by Abra having 27 cases and Benguet with 23, 5 from Apayao, 5 from Ifugao, 4 from Kalinga and Mt. Province with 5. Out of 237 cases 18 of them are AIDS conditions which mean it is a full blown HIV.
Austria said, although these cases are from Cordillera it does not mean that the patients are all Cordillerans because the records are only based from the given addresses of the patients.
There is higher number of cases of male rather than female on the age bracket 25-34 because of men having sex with men activities, there is also an alarming increase of number from the adolescence 15-24 years old. 90% of the cases are caused by unprotected sexual contact and other causes are transmission of infected blood from needles and through mother to child passed during pregnancy.
Cordillera had 28 municipalities and cities affected which shows the increasing trend of HIV/AIDS however, Austria said it is only the peak of the iceberg because there are still a large number of infected individuals who are not yet tested and still lives among the people of Cordillera.
The DOH will be having a nationwide AIDS candle lighting memorial hour on May 14 6-7pm to commemorate those patients who died from aids and to tell the public that there is something we can do to fight AIDS. One if the highlighted events is a national HIV testing week on May 8-14 that will be held in Baguio Health Services Office and Baguio General Hospital. there will also be a motorcade on May 20.
By William G. Martinez Jr.