DOH identifies Puerto Galera as ‘high risk area’ for HIV/AIDS
POSTED: Thursday, May 8th, 2014
CALAPAN CITY – The resort town of Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro province is now one of the “high risk areas” in the country for both Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
This was declared by the Department of Health Regional Office IV-B as it recently identified the said tourist town as indeed one of the areas in the country where HIV/AIDS continues to be a major concern nowadays.
In announcing this latest issue, DOH Regional Director Eduardo Janairo reminded vacationers and tourists going to Puerto Galera to refrain from having unprotected sex.
“We have to stop the rising cases of HIV. It is preventable like most diseases and the most effective way to avoid it is by abstinence from sex, having only one sex partner, using condoms, avoid sharing needles/syringes and educating oneself on the pros and cons of HIV,” Janairo stated.
According to the DOH, Puerto Galera is now listed as a Category C Area, where there is higher risk of HIV. Among the known high-risk groups who are prone to infection of AIDS and the organism HIV that causes it are the female sex workers, males having sex with males, intravenous drug users, and overseas foreign workers.
In February, the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry reported a total of 486 new HIV positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory. The figure is 43% higher compared to the same period last year with 339 cases. Most cases were male from 18-63 years old, and most of those affected were from the 20-29 years old.
There are four ways a person can get the HIV virus – by sexual contact (heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual), needle sharing among drug users, mother-to-child transmission, and blood transfusion from an infected person.
“HIV/AIDS still has no cure and health officials can only provide information, diagnose and treat suspected patients. The best way is through safe practice of informed individuals,” the DOH official said.( By JUANCHO R. MAHUSAY)