Tag Archives: HIV-AIDS

Killer AIDS claims 9 in SoCot

GENERAL SANTOS CITY —  South Cotabato health officials said 9 people have died in the province this year due to complications triggered by the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

John Codilla, focal person for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/AIDS of the South Cotabato of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Tuesday the 9 victims were among the 53 new HIV/AIDS cases that were diagnosed from January to September this year.

HIV-AIDS cases have been on the rise both in South Cotabato and General Santos City.
HIV-AIDS cases have been on the rise both in South Cotabato and General Santos City.

He said the 9 deaths all involved males who were already suffering from full-blown AIDS and the late stages of the disease when they submitted themselves to testing.

“By the time their results came out, it was too late for them to undergo treatment as the disease already progressed to the end stages,” he said in a media forum in Koronadal City.

Three deaths were recorded in Sto. Nino town; 2 each in Koronadal City and Polomolok town; and, one each in Tantangan and Surallah towns.

The victims died of severe complications of “opportunistic infections” or diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia and Kaposi’s sarcoma, which is a cancer that develops from the cells that line the lymph or blood vessels.

Of the 53 new cases, Codilla said 13 were already full-blown AIDS while 40 were asymptomatic HIV.

He said most of these cases were detected by the IPHO’s HIV screening and testing center based in Koronadal City later confirmed by the Department of Health’s Sexually-Transmitted Diseases (STD)/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL) in Manila.

A total of 48 cases involved males, 11 of whom were former Overseas Filipino Workers, he said.

Codilla said 25 of the new HIV/AIDS victims were aged 25 to 34 years-old and 16 were within the 15 to 24 years-old age range.

He said the youngest victim was aged 15 years-old and among the latest cases involved two male students of a university in Koronadal City.

“There has been an increasing trend in terms of (HIV/AIDS) infection among young professionals or those within the productive ages,” he said.

With the detection of the 53 new HIV/AIDS, Codilla said the province’s disease incidence now stands at a total of 194.

He said 184 of these cases were only recorded from 2010 up to the present.

“So far, we’ve been detecting an average of one case every week and we receive inquiries for screening and testing on a daily basis,” he said.

Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., IPHO chief, attributed the rise in confirmed HIV/AIDS cases in the province to the increasing awareness among various vulnerable sectors.

“Our current rate of HIV/AIDS detection is quite alarming but were also looking at it as a positive sign that our awareness campaigns and calls for voluntary testing have been gaining ground,” he said.

He said they consider the 194 confirmed cases in the province as just the “tip of the ice berg.”

“We expect to detect more cases in the coming months as more people are now aware of it and submitting themselves to testing,” he said.

In nearby General Santos City, health officials said there are already 171 people infected with the life-threatening human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), four of them acquired through mother and child transmission.(AE)

 

 

Gensan’s growing HIV-AIDS cases

In 2011, Dr. Mely Lastimoso said there were only 28  recorded cases of persons infected with HIV-AIDS.

Today, as the city observes World AIDS Day, there are already 171 people infected with the life-threatening human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), four of them involving mother and child transmission.

“Our data shows four families and their children were infected,” Dr. Lastimoso said in a letter to Mayor Ronnel Rivera.

The city mayor, in turn, said, “We need to double our efforts in combating HIV-AIDS as well as increase awareness and understanding of the infection.”

"We need to double our efforts in combating HIV-AIDS as well as increase awareness and understanding of the infection" - General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera.PHOTO BY EDWIN ESPEJO
“We need to double our efforts in combating HIV-AIDS as well as increase awareness and understanding of the infection” – General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera.PHOTO BY EDWIN ESPEJO

HIV damages the immune system of a person afflicted by the virus and interferes with the body’s ability to fight organisms that cause even the most common illness such as colds and pneumonia.

Once infected, an HIV-positive person will carry the virus for the rest of his or her life.

If it cannot be slowed down, HIV could develop into a full blown acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a deadly and incurable progression of the virus.

Dr. Lastimoso said most of the 171 HIV cases they are monitoring involve young professionals with age range between 21-26 years old.

She said they are alarmed over the rising number of people with HIV in the city.

Over the last few months, she said, they have been monitoring an average of one new HIV case a day.

Dr. Lastimoso said more city residents may be infected with the virus as their testing has been limited to those who volunteer to undergo the HIV tests.

“Surprisingly,” Lastimoso however said, “a handful of HIV infected cases in General Santos City involve professionals.”

This, she said, has shattered the traditional belief that HIV-AIDS only infects sex workers and homosexuals.

Lastimoso also confirmed that a well-known businessman who died several years ago was confirmed to have acquired the virus.

She declined to identify the victim.

HIV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person and exchange of body fluids.

It can likewise be spread by contact with infected blood through transfusion or sharing of intravenous needles from infected person.

It cans also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding.

It can take years before HIV totally weakens the immune system and develop into AIDS.