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Infected with HIV in Bohol
« on: December 07, 2017, 06:51:21 PM »
TAGBILARAN CITY, December 4, 2017 (PIA) — At least 151 Boholanos have tested positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) while another 23 persons are confirmed to have Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

This was reported by the Department of Health (DOH) during the recent Kapihan sa PIA in line with the campaign to urge Boholanos to keep away from risky behavior that are the most common modes of transmission of the virus.

The forum was also held in time for December 1 as World AIDS Day.

By risky behaviour, health authorities mean having multiple sex partners and having unprotected sex, sharing needles, and using infected injection needles.

Another mode of transmission is when a mother has the virus which she may pass on to her infant.

HIV is a kind of virus that mimics the body’s “soldiers cells” that act as its defense forces, explained Milagros Israel, the provincial HIV AIDS coordinator at the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

Israel added that by so doing, the body’s soldier cells can no longer distinguish which are foreign viruses.

The virus then attacks the body’s immune system and weakens people's defense system against infections.

As the virus destroys and impairs the function of immune cells, infected individuals gradually become immune-deficient, they become susceptible to a wide range of infections, and other diseases that people with healthy immune systems can fight off.

The most advanced stage of HIV infection is AIDS, which can take from 2 to 15 years to develop, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

This happens when the person living with HIV (PLHIV) develops certain incurable cancers, infections, or other severe clinical manifestations which lead to death, WHO added.

Transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, blood transfusion or use of infected needles as well as mother to infant, HIV - once its gets inside the body - would cause opportunistic infections, Israel said.

DOH nurse Nickson Felix Epe revealed that the Philippines has been identified by the United Nations as the country with the highest new AIDS cases, and Region 7 as the region with the highest cumulative cases.

As of May 2017, Region 7 recorded 90 cases in a month, and 182 of these are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
By law, the identities of persons living with HIV are treated with confidentiality.

One factor that puts Boholanos at risk of acquiring the disease is the mobility of people in Bohol, Epe said.

He explained that OFWs who may have contracted the virus abroad may bring it in, or foreign tourists who may have the virus could pass it to unsuspecting sex partners in Bohol.

The only way that one can determine positively if he or she has the virus is by undergoing a quick HIV test, which is free from any government facility, AIDS advocates said. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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