In the Philippines, there were 486 new cases of HIV infections reported in February of last year. Out of the 486, 36 were full-blown AIDS. The number has increased by 43 percent from 2013. How about the HIV infections in Davao City? 1
The Davao City Aids Council (DCAC) reported nine deaths of the 1,295 cases of HIV infections in Davao City since 1984. 2
From January to September 2015, HIV infections in the Philippines increased to 5,901. In September alone, there are 692 cases reported.
When taking a look at the number, there are 22 people infected with this disease each day in the Philippines. These patients are not just adults. In fact, there are minors involved, ages 15 and below.
The DCAC reported that out of those cases in Davao City, one of them is a 13-year-old girl.
One of the problems with minors is that they are used by homosexual males. Furthermore, they can’t get access to HIV/AIDS test without their parents’ consent, under the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998. By the time they could be tested, their condition is already full-blown.
The problem with HIV/AIDS test is that it’s an invasive procedure as the blood sample is needed. Some organizations are now pushing the government to allow these kids to get tested, provided that they are guided by service providers.
The Rise of Prostitution
Poverty is still the root cause of the increasing number of minors engaged in prostitution. In Davao City alone, there are estimated 4,000 women and kids prostitutes. What’s more painful to know is that 40 percent of these sex workers are still children.
Because of this increasing number of HIV infections in Davao City, a lot of organizations are requesting the government to come up with an approach that allows both children and adults to be tested to further prevent and control the spread of this disease in the city.
But a lot of people are afraid of undergoing this type of test as they fear of being judged by the society. That stigma is indeed killing these people.
To promote awareness to the public on how to prevent and control this disease, the DCAC will participate in commemorating the 27th World AIDS Day.
Just this month, Charlie Sheen finally admitted that he’s HIV-positive. And he has been diagnosed four years ago.
The perceptions of HIV-AIDS, not just in Davao City, but also in the world are changing. Thirty years ago, this disease was considered by many as a death sentence.
But in the last few decades, there are more effective treatments available that can help patients live for many years.
With so many studies and treatments that are affordable yet effective, we’re now entering a point where this disease is no longer a death sentence that won’t allow patients to live a quality life. Although there are no natural treatments to fight this infection, there are effective medicines available on the market.
As a way to combat this disease, let’s talk about this more openly with friends and partners. If you’re sexually active or you have multiple partners, go and see a doctor and request for an HIV-AIDs test.
- Santos, Tina G. (April 1, 2014). HIV Cases Rose 43% to 486 in February. Inquirer. Retrieved from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/590915/hiv-cases-rose-43-to-486-in-february-16-aids-deaths-reported-doh
- Capistrano, Zea IO Ming (November 27, 2015). 1,295 HIV-infections, 9 Deaths Recorded in Davao City. Davao Today. Retrieved from http://davaotoday.com/main/economy/health/1295-hiv-infections-9-deaths-recorded-in-davao-city/