Davao girl, 12, becomes youngest to contract HIV thru sex

DAVAO CITY -- A 12–year-old girl from this city has become the youngest person to become infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through sexual intercourse, a city health official said.

Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, City Health Office (CHO) chief, said the girl is the youngest since the city started monitoring HIV cases in 1993.

"Naay mga bata na karon na naga-engage na sa sex at a very young age (There are children now who engage in sex at a very young age)," Villafuerte said.

She said 22 new cases of persons living with HIV, 21 of them are males, have been recorded between January and March this year. The new cases have brought the number of persons living with HIV in the city to 140.

Villafuerte said 39 new cases have been recorded in the city in the whole of 2010.

Although the figure shows that HIV is prevalent among men, Villafuerte said it is not yet conclusive that the highest incidence in the city is indeed men having sex with men.

HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids). Aids is the late stage of the chronic disease, which is caused by HIV infection.

"Even if they are positive with HIV, there is still hope. There are free medicines we can provide for them," Villafuerte said.

Villafuerte said HIV must not be associated with death since there are advancements, which can now prolong the lives of persons living with HIV.

Less than 20 people have died of HIV infection in the Davao City since 1993, she said. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)

For more local stories, visit www.sunstar.com.ph

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