Editorial | Reversing the trend

For many years, our country was considered to have a very low level of HIV infection as compared to neighboring countries like Thailand. According to the World Health Organization, from 1984 to 2006, there was a slow but steady increase of the pandemic.

But this is no longer true today. A dramatic increase over the past years has been observed and our country is now is considered as one of the fastest-growing HIV epidemics in the world, with estimated HIV incidence having risen to more than 25% since 2001. WHO Western Pacific Region estimated that in 2016 there were 56, 000 people living with HIV in the Philippines.
In a press conference last week, Pricilla Senoc, Health Education and Population Officer of the CHO, said that the city’s figures are likewise alarming. As of January 2018, she said there are already 2,330 cases of HIV with 109 deaths based on the report of the Epidemiological Bureau of the Department of Health.
The Davao Region ranks 6th among regions with the most number of HIV cases in the country, next to the National Capital Region, Region 4-A, Region 7, Region 3 and Region 6, respectively. An average of 32 cases of HIV infections are recorded each day.
This is why the health office is encouraging the barangays to get involved in the education campaign on HiV/AIDS. The pandemic is real, and it becomes more urgent now as the figures from the testing centers may just be the tip of an iceberg.
The Department of Health said last month that it recorded 871 new cases in February alone. The HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines recorded a total of 22 deaths in February this year. The sad thing is that 135 of the 871 new cases were already considered advanced HIV infection at the time of diagnosis, The mode of transmission of this new cases is sexual contact, 86 percent of which involved males who had sex with males.
The barangay has to be involved in the massive education campaign on the pandemic alongside other education campaigns such as illegal drug use.
HIV/AIDS is real and reversing the trend is urgent.

Posted in Opinion