The Department of Health (DOH-Caraga) said it recorded 14 new cases of humanimmunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in May alone .
This brings the total number of cases to 538 since the DOH-Caraga started documenting infections in 1995.
In its disease surveillance report, the DOH-Caraga said 14 new HIV cases were reported for the month, which was higher than the 12 cases recorded in May 2017.
Out of 14 cases, 14 (100%) cases were acquired through sexual contact in which 8 (57%) of these cases is through homosexual contact, it said.
Contracting HIV leads to a condition characterized by the weakening or breakdown of the body’s immune system.
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body’s natural defense system. Over time it leads to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.
Since 1995 to May 2018, a total of 538 HIV cases were recorded in various parts of the region. Topping in the cumulative list is Butuan City where 166 cases were registered, followed by Surigao del Norte with 107 cases, Agusan del Sur with 105 cases, Surigao del Sur with 98 cases, Agusan del Norte with 58 cases and Dinagat Islands province with 4 cases.
According to the HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines, a total of 43 deaths were recorded from 1984 to the present for Caraga region alone. One new death was also recorded in January this year.
Health authorities urged community members, especially those who are at high risk for acquiring the virus, to submit themselves to counseling and HIV testing and treatment in which services are free and confidential.”
The DOH is providing antiretroviral (ARV) medicine for free to anyone who tests positive for HIV. By CLC