HIV cases surge 114 in Cebu City

08/01/2010 - The number of persons afflicted with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Cebu City more than doubled in the last two months this year.
There were 45 new cases for June to July, compared to 21 cases for the same period last year, or an increase of 114 percent, city health records show.

Most of the HIV cases involved intravenous drug injection, said Dr. Ilya Tac-an, head of the HIV detection unit of the Cebu City Health Department.

The data points to drug users who share dirty needles. The proliferation of Nubain, an injectable pain-killer, is a common peace and order problem in urban barangays.

Tac-an said the health department is coordinating with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-7(PDEA) about this and conducting an information drive focused on the youth.

For the entire Cebu province, AIDS Free Philippines chief Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer said they have recorded 318 HIV cases in July alone. He said this was almost a 100 percent increase from last year.

Bullecer said that 90 percent of the HIV cases in Cebu province were sexually transmitted.

The Cebu city governmetn is stepping up its information drive for awareness of HIV, which leads to the Acquired Immune deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

“I am happy now that the city is paying attention to the continuous rise of HIV cases in Cebu,” said Bullecer, who offered to help the city in its prevention programs against HIV.

The Cebu City Council has asked the CCHD and AIDS Free Phils. to strengthen its campaign on the prevention and control of HIV.

In her resolution, Councilor Nida Cabrera expressed alarm over the increase of HIV cases in Cebu City.

“It is a good move now that the city government is advocating programs(against HIV). The HIV increase in Cebu is really alarming,” Tac-an told Cebu Daily News.

Bullecer said that a person with HIV may look healthy and not show signs or symptoms for 10 to 15 years. He said many HIV positive cases are undiagnosed and untreated. There is no cure yet for AIDS, he said. (Cebu Daily News)

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