Monday, February 22, 2010

Needle-sharing cause of HIV in Cebu

Manila Bulletin


Cebu City — Needle-sharing among drug users is the main reason why there has been an increase in the number of Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive cases in this city, according to Dr. Ilya Tac-an of this city’s Health Department.

Tac-an explained that of the 18 cases recorded last year, 17 involved people engaging in the share of needles.

The youngest age with HIV case recorded here is 15 years old while the oldest is 79.

The city health department has recorded 98 cases of HIV since 1989. Among those who tested positive for the disease were registered sexual worker, OFWs and homosexuals in a male-to-male relationship.

Tac-an also confirmed that those found positive are mostly drug dependents who use unsterilized needles or share used needles, making the latter the mode for viral transmission.

“High-risk behaviors which include unsafe sexual relations, multiple sex partners aside from sharing needles are also among the causes that facilitate the spread of HIV,” she said.

Further, the health official underlined that findings pointing at call center agents being more prone to contract HIV should be clarified as “anybody who is involved in risky sexual behavior and sharing of needles is a possible candidate in getting the said disease, and not only call center agents.”

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