The Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol has reported three deaths due to the human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) within a two-month period this year.
Dr. Jannish Arellano, head of infectious disease cluster in DOH-Bicol, said the three cases of deaths were recorded from January to February this year when 42 new cases of HIV/AIDS were also reported.
“The high cases of HIV/AIDS were reported among males, specifically among men-having-sex with men or MSM,” she said in a press briefing held at DOH-Bicol’s office on Friday.
Among the 42 new cases throughout the region, Albay has the most number with 14, Sorsogon-12, Camarines Sur-10, Masbate-4, Camarines Norte-2 with no cases reported in Catanduanes.
Arellano said the cases showed HIV/AIDS was mostly affecting persons 15 to 49 years old and above.
“But the data highlighted also that HIV/AIDS is also affecting the 15-year-old,” she said.
In 2016, Arellano said, there were 122 HIV-AIDS cases reported across the region. Camarines Sur recorded 54 cases, Albay-31, Sorsogon -12, Masbate-12, Camarines Norte-8 and Catanduanes-5.
From 1984 to the present, a total of 540 cases had been recorded in the region. Of these, 109 have AIDS while 431 were “asymptomatic,” which means that the virus is present in the body but there is no symptom of any infection.
Arellano said from 1984 to the present, the HIV/AIDS virus has caused the death of 57 persons in Bicol.
Arellano called on the people to become responsible partners and observe healthy sexual behavior.
She added DOH-Bicol is also conducting a massive information campaign among the youth, specifically among high school students to educate them about the HIV/AIDS virus. (PNA)