Health advisories on HIV/AIDS

BAGUIO CITY – Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodefiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is encouraged as said cases in the city and the country as a whole has increased.

This was disclosed in the Kapihan at the Department of Health (DOH) Training Center, Thursday last week, with health authorities including DOH Director III Dr. Amelita Pangilinan.

“HIV/AIDS is a chronic, sexually transmitted disease where the virus weakens the immune system, causing the body’s inability to fight diseases.”

There is no treatment nor cure for HIV/AIDS, it was stated in an advisory disseminated during the forum. Retroviral medications can only slow down the progression of the disease. Prevention includes having sexual relations within a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner; using condoms, and for those with medical needs, use of clean needles.

HIV/AIDS is spread by having unprotected sex with an infected person, or with multiple sex partners. Having relations with persons having sexually transmitted diseases would increase the risk of infection, and sharing equipment used for injected illicit drugs. Babies born to an HIV/AIDS infected mother, risk having the disease, passed on during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.

Early symptomatic infection shows as fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, weight loss, cough and shortness of breath. Flu-like illness, which occurs 3-6 weeks after acquiring infection in almost half of newly infected people includes fever, muscle soreness, rash, headache, sore throat, mouth or genital ulcers, swollen lymph glands mainly on the neck, joint pain, night sweats and diarrhea.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan in an earlier media forum himself said that each day, 28 individuals are infected with HIV/AIDS, with an infant orphaned every 12 seconds. Eighteen individuals have died of the virus in the city since 1992; with 93 HIV positive individuals: 73 males and 20 females. Most of the cases are transmitted through Men having sex with men (MSM).

The mayor again pointed out the importance of the ABCs of HIV/AIDS prevention: Abstinence, Be Faithful and use of Condoms. Early detection through testing has been added to the precautionary measures.

The city earlier joined the international AIDS day with the theme, “Hands up for HIV prevention,” commemorating the death of 35M people with aids. HIV/AIDS infected persons are said to be 78M worldwide. – juliegfianza#


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