DAVAO CITY – With the rapid increase of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) cases, it needs a multi-faceted approach including a lot of stakeholders to respond for the prevention and control in the spread of HIV-AIDS in Davao City, said Precy Senoc of Davao City AIDS Council.

In a press conference, she said that many does not want to undergo for an HIV-AIDS testing because they are being stigmatized and afraid of the judgement of the society.

“It’s your decision to remain healthy,” Senoc added.

She presented a data that everyday, 22 were infected with HIV all over the Philippines.

In the year 1984 until July this year, 1,295 cases of HIV were recorded in Davao City and nine died of AIDS.

“There are deaths at the SPMC [Southern Philippine Medical Center, largest government hospital outside Manila] that were not recorded because supposedly before they will be included in the AIDS registry it should have been confirmed in Manila,” she added.

All over the Philippines, from 1984 to September this year, there were 28,428 cases of HIV-AIDS recorded.

The highest number of infected were in the age group 25-34 with 14,458, which Senoc considered to be the “very productive age”; 7,536 infected were aged 15-24; 5,407 aged 35-49; and 867 cases of HIV cases recorded were aged 50 and above.

Some 86 cases of HIV were recorded involving minors, or those aged 15 and below including a 13-year-old girl in Davao City, said Senoc.

“In the AIDS law in the Philippines, we do not allow minors to be tested unless there is a consent from the parents”, said Executive Director of Talikala, Jeanette Ampog.

“Because of poverty, prostitution is rising because they need to sell their flesh on the streets,” she added.

Senoc said that minors involved in HIV-AIDS cases “have something to do with poverty, socio-political aspects, and gender issue”.

“If we can eradicate the factors for that, somehow, we can bring down the number”, she added.

Senoc said everybody is vulnerable to HIV-AIDS and this is not just an issue of sex, that is why we encourage the people that they should all engage in this campaign”. (davaotoday.com)

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