Monday, February 8, 2010

Increase in HIV cases in Negros Occidental reported

ABS-CBN News, Philippines

By Barbara Mijares, ABS-CBN Negros

MANILA, Philippines – The provincial health office in Negros Occidental on Friday reported an increased number of HIV/AIDS cases recorded in 2009.

The health office said a total of 14 cases were recorded last year, which translates to a 16% increase as compared to 2008 where only 12 cases were reported.

It said that since 1993 to 2009, a total of 109 cases have been recorded, with 27 deaths allegedly due to complications brought about by the disease.

Dr. Luisa Efren of the provincial health office said majority of those found positive for HIV/AIDS are working or have worked abroad.

Efren urged Negrenses to bear in mind the practice of “ABCs” (Abstinence, Be faithful to your partner and Condom).

She said that core teams, which would be responsible for counselling people living with AIDS, are already in place in 4 hospitals in the province namely the Kabankalan District Hospital, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Cadiz District Hospital and Silay Provincial Hospital.

She added that the core teams also provides and assists AIDS victims with their medication.

Efren, however, clarified that only the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital gives out retro-viral drugs. The other hospitals provide medicines for diseases that may have been caused by failing immune systems of people living with HIV/AIDS.

She said that there may be more unreported cases of HIV/AIDS in the province because people with the disease avoid public seeking medical help out of shame and because of discrimination.

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