Courtesy of of MINEX AT LEAST 34 cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were recorded by theDepartment of Health(DOH) inNorthern Mindanaoas of September this year.
Dr. David Mendoza, director I of the DOH Center for Health Development (CHD) in Northern Mindanao, said 16 of these cases are from Cagayan de Oro, seven of whom are males who are now under the care of Alliance Against Aids in Mindanao (Alagad Mindanao) and are receivingantiretroviral treatmentand care.
"The rest of the nine patients fromCagayan de Orowere no longer monitored since treatment is given to patients on a voluntary basis, not mandatory," Mendoza said during a press conference held Monday at Hotel Conchita.
Mendoza said in thePhilippines, the National Aids Registry recorded at least 5,729 cases ofHIVandacquired immune deficiency syndrome(Aids) since 1984 up to the present.
As cases of HIV/Aids keep on increasing, the DOH is reportedly having a hard time doing surveillance on suspected persons in the country.
This is because of the effect of a law in the country that does not require mandatory testing to high risk individuals, especiallyoverseas Filipino workers, said Dr. Jaime Bernadas, regional director of DOH-CHD for Northern Mindanao.
Bernadas said the only way to stop the spread of the virus is throughpreventive measures.
"This is done through our partnership with the Global Fund and theWorld Health Organization," he said in the same press conference.
Bernadas said the health department would push through with its HIV/Aids prevention and information campaign through the distribution offree condomsand doing free consultation and confidential counseling.
OnDecember 1, the DOH-Northern Mindanao will spearhead the celebration of theWorld Aids Daywith the theme "Universal Accessand Human Rights."
A program is set to be held at 8 a.m. at the Capitol grounds.
Bernadas said the yearly activity hopes to raise awareness aboutAids pandemiccaused by the spread of HIV infection.
During the press conference, Bernadas discussed the various activities that the DOH has lined up in cooperation with its various partners, such as Tingog Cagayan de Oro, Alagad Mindanao and other government agencies.
Among the activities lined up are a forum on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and Aids, and anextemporaneous speech contestamong private and public high school students.
A series of blood-letting activities will also be held in various barangays in the city.