DOH tells public to practice safe sex, get tested for HIV
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday encouraged the public to practice safe sex and get tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) amid the 86 new cases recorded among adolescents and children in January.
“Ang atin pong paalala, wala naman po talagang pinipiling edad ang HIV, kailangan lang po talaga ang ating mga kababayan makapagingat, malaman natin saan ito nanggagaling at paano tayo mapproteksyunan,” said DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a statement.
(Our reminder is that HIV does not discriminate against age, we just need our countrymen to be careful, to know where it comes from and how we can be protected.)
Vergeire explained that the most common cause of HIV around the world is unprotected sex, which is why she urged the public to practice using condoms, or knowing the sexual history of their partners.
Vergeire also warned against sharing needles, especially during drug use.
“Kailangan po lagi tayong aware, kung sa tingin niyo po nagkaroon kayo ng risky behavior, libre po ang gamutan tiyaka tests for HIV,” said Vergeire.
(We always need to be aware, if you think you have engaged in risky behavior, tests are free.)
HIV not a death sentence
Vergeire in the same briefing then stressed that HIV is not a death sentence, reminding the public that treatment is available free, allowing positive individuals to live a long and healthy life.
“Hindi na po death sentence ngayon ang HIV katulad nung araw na iniisip ng mga tao na kapag nagka-HIV, wala nang lunas. Hindi kayo nagagamot, pero ‘yung gamot na iniinom niyo can maintain and sustain your life and you will be productive hanggang sa matagal na matagal na panahon,” Vergeire said.
(HIV is no longer a death sentence like it was back in the day when people thought that once they got HIV, there was no cure. You are not cured, but the medicine you are taking can maintain and sustain your life and you will be productive for a long, long time.)
This came after the DOH Epidemiology Bureau on Feb. 28 released data on the latest recorded cases of HIV in January 2023, which showed that of the 1,454 confirmed HIV-positive individual, seven cases were from children aged two to nine, while 79 cases were from adolescents aged 10 to 19.
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