Friday, 22 June 2012 10:52
The Human Development and Empowerment Services (HDES) expressed alarm over the increase of the Human Immune Virus - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV - AIDS) cases in Zamboanga.
HDES Executive Director, Malou Lim said, "Alarming in the sense kay taman increase el cases. Siguro necicita kambiya el mindset del publico.”
This was the reaction of Lim after it was revealed by District 2 Councilor Lilia Nuño who is also the Chairman of the Committee on Health and Sanitation in the city council of the sudden increase of HIV positive cases in Zamboanga City wherein eight of the 45 cases registered are college students.
From the time surveillance for HIV-AIDS has started in the mid 90s until last year, at least more than 20 were found to be positive, but that number has doubled to 45 cases this year.
The youngest of the eight newly registered persons living with HIV is a 16-year-old and all of them are studying in colleges in the city.
Because of this, Lim is advising the public not to have unprotected sex, be faithful, and if vulnerable, have yourselves screened.
According to Lim, the office is constantly conducting counseling, information dissemination regarding HIV AIDS in schools, bars, nightspots, and other areas.
Lim said their office is working together with the Department of Health and the City Health Office for the prevention and control of HIV AIDS.
If a person is found HIV positive, they can still live a normal life since many times, the patient will not manifest any symptom for ten to 20 years since acquiring the disease.
Medicines for HIV-AIDS patients are given for free. The Anti-retroviral Drugs cost between P7,000 to 10,000 per month per patient. When the patient does not respond anymore to the mentioned treatment, another type of drug is given which cost P150,000.
Lim stressed that the increase of HIV AIDS cases in this city will not affect Zamboanga City’s good reputation when it comes to HIV-AIDS control and prevention. “People are aware and all systems are in place.”
The city was a recipient of the Gawad Galing Pook Award for its best practices in HIV AIDS Prevention and Control.
The Zamboanga City Medical Center has a Ligaya Center for persons living with HIV AIDS where they are given free medicines and counseling.
By:R.G. Antonet Go
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