HIV cases alarm Cebu City dad

A CEBU City councilor has expressed alarm over the high number of HIV cases in the city.

City Councilor Rey Gealon said on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 he was surprised after hearing a report from a national media outlet that the total number of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cases in Central Visayas for the period January to May this year reached 8,407, of which 4,993 or 59 percent came from Cebu City.

Because of this, the councilor from the city’s south district has sent a letter to City Health Department head Dr. Daisy Villa to give them an update on how many HIV cases were reported from June to November and have this compared with the records over the past two to three years.

“I write to you in aid of legislation to enable this representation to effectively legislate on matters within your department, especially on the increasing number of newly diagnosed HIV and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) individuals,” read part of the letter.

The first-term councilor said he wants to coordinate with Dr. Villa and the city council on how to find ways to prevent the spread the virus.

The councilor is worried that more people would be infected by the virus if the problem is not given proper action by the city government.

SunStar reached out to Dr. Villa but was unable to get a response as of press time.

According to the Department of Health (DOH) Epidemiology Bureau’s May 2022 HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines, there have been 100,298 reported cases of HIV in the country since January 1984, of whom 61,250 were presently on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) as of May 2022.

Ninety-six percent (58,962) of the 61,250 were male. The age of reported cases ranged from one to 80 years old, with a median age of 32.

From January 1984 to May 2022, there have been 5,584 reported deaths, of whom the majority or 48 percent (2,704) were 25-34 years old, followed by 24 percent (1,349) who were 35- 49 years old, and 22 percent (1,238) who were 15-24 years old.

Five percent (253) were 50 years old and older, while one percent (37) were less than 15 years old at the time of death, the DOH said.

In the first five months of this year, 5,974 new cases were reported in the country, with male-male sex the predominant mode of transmission, accounting for 64 percent (3,837) of cases, followed by sex with males and females, 23 percent (1,350 cases); male-female sex, 11 percent (660 cases); and sharing of needles, less than one percent (35 cases). (PAC, TPT, CTL)