Local health authorities raised concern over the increasing number of human immune virus (HIV) cases in the city amidst the prevailing implementation of minimum public health standards due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Appearing before the regular session of the city council, Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Celiaflor Brillantes disclosed that since the full operation of the city’s HIV surveillance unit in July 2017, the local government document some 110 HIV cases.
Since the pandemic outbreak over 22 months now, she claimed some 40 HIV cases were documented mostly of men having sex with men (MSM).
Ironically, she stated that the city document this cases when night establishments have been restricted to operate because of the ongoing implementation of restrictions to contain the rapid spread of the deadly virus.
Brillantes informed local legislators that the City Health Services office (CHSO) continues to enhance the conduct of information and education campaign among the targeted sectors of the community to ensure they are well informed of the ongoing programs, projects and activities of the city government geared towards assisting them in dealing with the real situation.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). There is currently no effective cure. Once people get HIV, they have it for life. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. People with HIV who get effective HIV treatment can live long, healthy lives and protect their partners.
Some people have flu-like symptoms within 2 to 4 weeks after infection, called acute HIV infection. These symptoms may last for a few days or several weeks. Possible symptoms include fever, chills, rash, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and Mouth ulcers.
These symptoms, however, are also indicative of other illnesses. Some people may not feel sick during acute HIV infection.
People must continue to see a health care provider when they have these symptoms and think they may have been exposed to HIV. Getting tested for HIV is the only way to know for sure whether individuals are infected with the said virus or not.
When people with HIV do not get treatment on time, they typically progress through three stages. But HIV medicine can slow or prevent progression of the disease. With the advancements in treatment, progression to Stage 3 is less common today than in the early days of HIV.
Among the 3 stages of HIV include acute HIVG infection, chronic HIV infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
During the acute HIV stage, people have a large amount of HIV in their blood and they are very contagious. When in the chronic HIV stage, it is described to be symptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency.
At the AIDS stage, it is said to be the most severe phase of the HIV infection and people may have badly damaged immune system that they tend to get an increasing number of severe illnesses.