TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Records from the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Department of Health (DOH) in the Cagayan Valley Region showed that Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases regionwide continue to escalate.
Carissa Pagulayan, RESU coordinator, said records showed that there were 489 cases of HIV/AIDs in the region from 1984 to present.
Pagulayan said of the total number, 129 cases belong to age group 15-24 years old while 269 and 84 cases belong to age brackets 25-34 and 35-49, respectively. The other nine cases are 50 years old and above.
She said based on their data, 438 cases are males and 51 are females. Of the number, she said 83 cases are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).
She said based on the investigation conducted, 232 cases were transmitted through male to male sex while the 147 cases were transmitted through unprotected sex with both male and female partners.
She added that the 87 cases were heterosexual while the other two cases were transmitted through mother to child.
Pagulayan said there were 13 recorded deaths since 1984 where five of which occurred from January to August 2017 only.
She said DOH records on HIV/AIDs are based on those individuals who subjected themselves to screening.
She added that there may be number of individuals already afflicted with the dreaded disease and may be the source of transmission to many people but are afraid to subject themselves to testing or screening due to stigma and discrimination.
“HIV does not have specific symptoms or signs. A person infected with HIV may look and feel healthy. The only way to confirm HIV’s presence is when antibody testing is conducted,” Pagulayan said. Gene Baquiran/PIA/Northernforum.net