HIV/AIDS in the Philippines

The fact that there is no cure for the disease means the government and the public cannot afford to be complacent, the disease aside from being transmitted sexually can be acquired by drug users who are sharing infected needles, mother positive for HIV can infect her child while giving birth, and in other cases through blood transfusion.
What is HIV/AIDS
HIV is the organism that causes AIDS. AIDS is the condition.
“AIDS is caused by infection with a virus called human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus is passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood and sexual contact.”1 After contacting the virus that causes AIDS it attacks and weakens the immune system.
According to Department of Health-Philippine General Hospital Department of Infectious Disease reported in the last week of January 2010, HIV cases are on the rise in the country. The agency has identified 100 new cases in past ten months. The profile primarily young professionals between the age of 15-25, educated in high school or college, some are working in call centers. According to the doctors some patients engaged in casual group sex whom they met through social networks in the Internet.
Philippine Health secretary Esperanza Cabral reveals that cases of AIDS have increased in 2009 in comparison with 2008.
The government monitors the infected person. However there are unreported cases for a lot of reasons. There are probably infected people who do not know they are infected. There might be instances when the person is afraid to seek help for lack of money and perhaps afraid that they will be isolated from friends.

Danton Remodo president of Ladlad an organization of homosexuals ventilated that there were free condoms in health centers but it was gone now. Access to condom is important even if there are condoms for sale, which is a strain on the budget of the majority of the Filipinos “for an ordinary citizen which one will you choose a condom or a can of sardines to feed your family? “ He added that one convenience store is not selling condoms because the parish priest prohibits them from selling it. The church in the Philippines is against contraceptives and that includes condoms. Congress in the country has yet to pass the reproductive health bill authored by Representative Edcel C. Lagman of Albay, south of Luzon Island also known as Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008. In the bill includes prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs. However, during the last hearing, congress failed to have a quorum.

more on HIV/AIDS in the Philippines on my next blog.


About Maria Arlene V. Goyenechea

mother of four, married, female, Filipina, fascinated with Japanese culture
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