ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga Sibugay—The continuous increase of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome cases in this highly urbanized city has alarmed local health officials.
Dulce Amor Miravite, chief of the City Health Office’s Reproductive Health and Wellness Center, said the office registered 177 HIV cases with 25 deaths in the past few years.
One-hundred sixty-one of those cases were males.
One-hundred thirty-one of the cases were from the city while the others are transients.
Miravite said latest CHO records showed that 2015 had the highest incidence as it registered 51 HIV cases with five deaths even as the health office had strengthened its advocacy against HIV and AIDS, focusing its activities on the sitios, barangays and public and private offices.
She claimed the advocacy is also being undertaken in secondary and tertiary schools.
Miravite said that most of the current HIV-AIDS patients acquired the disease through, among others, men having sex with men, client of sex workers, female sex workers, male sex workers, and injecting drug users.
She also claiming that men having sex with men is the most high-risk behavior that could lead to acquiring HIV.
Miravite advised persons with high-risk behavior to come to the RHWC to voluntarily undergo HIV testing “so that they will know their status and what to do next.”