Digos City health execs alarmed over 6 new HIV cases | Inquirer News
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Digos City health execs alarmed over 6 new HIV cases

/ 01:35 PM August 19, 2011

News, Regions, Health, Infectious Diseases, HIV/AIDS, Homosexual, Gay, STD

DIGOS CITY, Philippines—Health officials here have sounded the alarm on the possible spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) following the discovery of six new cases here between January and July.

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Lisa Orivillo, coordinator for HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections of the Provincial Health Office of Davao del Sur, said Friday that all the HIV carriers were men, aged 20 to the mid-30s.

She said all the victims were into gay sexual activities before they were diagnosed with the virus, which causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

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“We are strictly monitoring the condition of the six men,” Orivillo said, adding the health office feared the six cases were not the only ones in the province.

“We are alarmed,” she said.

HIV can also be transmitted through the use of contaminated needles, through infected blood in transfusions and other means, but Orivillo said in the case of the six confirmed carriers, all had been engaged in risky sexual behavior.

“There is a possibility that we have more HIV cases that are not reported yet so we are conducting a massive education campaign right now,” Orivillo said.

She said that aside from the HIV cases, the Provincial Health Office also discovered that at least 330 women in the province were suffering from sexually transmitted infections.

“Those girls are mostly commercial sex workers and some are working in night clubs in the province,” Orivillo said, adding that the health office has formed a team to monitor the HIV and STI cases in the province.

The health office was urging men to use condoms “if they engage in risky sexual behaviors” or are having sex with multiple partners.

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