By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ONE person was diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Western Visayas every 13 hours, according to the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) -6.
Caroline Tumabotabo, Nurse V of CHD-6, said Western Visayas was ranked fifth in the country in terms of the percentage of new HIV cases in August 2018.
"From 1986 to August 2018, there were 2, 741 cases recorded in the region. Of these, 2, 263 are asymptomatic cases and 478 are considered cases of immune or advanced deficiency (AIDS), "Tumabotabo added.
Monalisa Diones, Philippine Family Planning Organization (FPOP) -Iloilo Program Manager, said they also noted an increase in the number of HIV and AIDS deaths reported.
"The increase in cases can be attributed to better reporting and case finding," said Diones.
Meanwhile, DOH-6 recorded 278 deaths with the highest number of deaths in Iloilo City (20), followed by Iloilo province with 13; Bacolod City with 11; and Negros Occidental with 7.
In Western Visayas, there are five treatment centers, namely, Western Visayas Medical Center and The Medical City in Iloilo, Angel Salazar Memorial Hospital in Antique, Corazon Locsin Memorial Hospital in Negros and Dr Rafael Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Aklan.
Apart from free initial laboratories and free services, DOH-6 said that they also extended their clinical hours from 8am to 8pm at their medical center.
In line with the celebration of World AIDS Day on December 1, DOH will hold a campus tour and Search for HIV / AIDS Advocacy Ambassadors.
Campus tours aim to spread awareness among students to help prevent the spread of disease while annual searches will look for ambassadors who will be champions in informing the public about the disease.