Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Health officials advise marital or mutual fidelity among couples to ward-off HIV-AIDS

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LEGAZPI CITY, March 5, (PIA) – There is no better prevention against HIV-AIDS than to follow what a health official advises: “Maintain your relationship inside marriage or be mutually faithful to save your life against HIV-AIDS.”

Quoted in leading Philippine dailies, Health Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag reported a total of 380 new HIV cases in January—the highest increase since the government began monitoring HIV/AIDS cases in 1984.

“This means that from an average of nine new cases every day last year, we now have 12 new cases every day. So, our total (of HIV/AIDS) cases have reached 12,082 since 1984,” he added.

The report was 79 percent higher than the 212 reported in January last year. The 380 cases also included 37 overseas Filipino workers with (93 percent) males and with a median age of 27 years (age range: 17-62 years) according to Tayag.

In Bicol Region there are 104 recorded cases from January 1984 to December 2012.  We do not know, yet, if there are new cases for January 2013 in Bicol   because all Social Hygiene Clinics report directly to the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) in Manila owing to the strict confidentiality of such cases, DOH-CHD Bicol Regional Director Gloria J. Balboa explains.

However, a complete report may be obtained from the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry at the www.doh.gov.ph, she said.

Meantime, Dr. Alan Lucañas, HIV-AIDS Prevention and Control Coordinator for Bicol reiterated the ABCDEs in the fight against the disease which are Abstinence, Be Faithful, Consistent and correct condom use, Don’t use drugs and alcohol and the right Education.

Assistant Secretary Tayag was also quoted as saying that one should always carry a condom. “Don’t believe those who say that condoms have holes and you cannot benefit from them. And always carry it with you,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean that when you have one always, you are a bad person. It’s like carrying an umbrella. If you have an umbrella, it does not mean that you want it to rain. You only want to have one just in case it does,” he added. (DOH-V/PIA Sorsogon)

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