HIV up in Baguio; 19 new cases

>> Friday, November 3, 2023

BAGUIO CITY – Data from Health offices here showed increase in Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) here.  
    Nineteen new AIDS/HIV cases were recorded January to June this year as compared to 21 in 2019. A total of 14 in 2020; 31 in 2021 and 56 in 2022.
    The City Council earlier enacted HIV/AIDS Prevention Ordinance (Ordinance 16, series of 2021), t5o mitigate the disease.
    Implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the ordinance are being discussed by the Health Services Office - Reproductive Health and Wellness Center led by Nurse Gay Hope Alangsab and representatives from Balay Marvi, Baguio Association of Night Spots (BANS),    Philippine Association of Medical Technologists (PAMET), Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), Transcend, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), People With Disability Affairs Office (PDAO) and other concerned agencies.
    Committee chair on health and sanitation, ecology and environmental concerns Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda and Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales as committee chair on the youth also attended the meetings to finalize the IRR.
    Information campaign is being done by the HSO - RHWC, with calls for HIV-AIDS testing especially for key and vulnerable population; men having sex with men (MSM) or with women (MSW) or both men and women, transgender women, female sex workers and people in prostitution, people who use/inject drugs, young sex population, and, women and children, it was reported.
    According to Health Services Office in-charge Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes, efforts are persuading vulnerable population to be tested, properly diagnosed and having anti-retroviral treatment (ART) at a rate of 95% to render the virus non-transmissible.
    Data showed not all key and vulnerable population have access to preventive services or are practicing protective behavior; and not all PLHIVs are diagnosed and not all diagnosed PLHIVs are on life -saving ART.
    An ART is a medical regimen which reduces and keeps the amount of virus under control, and helps keep an HIV- positive individual healthy. Other conditions, including illness of other sources however, can persist even with ART.
    As to HIV cases enrolled in the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC), 60.37% are from Baguio, 11.94% from the CAR, and 27.67% from non-CAR area.
    It was reported that from target of 95% in 2022; 71.42% viral load was covered and 91.11% virally suppressed.
With the same target, the first semester of 2023 had 88.88% viral load covered and 100% virally suppressed. – With reports from HSO-RHWC.


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