Albay tops in HIV cases in Bicol, NGO says

Published by rudy Date posted on January 10, 2009

The province of Albay has posted the highest number of reported cases of Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) in the Bicol region as of last month, a non-government group that monitors the state of the region’s reproductive health yesterday said.

In a “report,” the Bicol Reproductive Health Information Network (BRHIN), a non-government organization that advocates the prevention of the spread of HIV infection said that throughout the region there are 60 HIV-positive cases.

The report said out of the 60 cases, 23 were in Albay.

The BHRIN report said Camarines Sur province has a total of 15 HIV-positive cases, Sorsogon province has nine, Catanduanes province has eight, Camarines Norte province has four and Masbate province has one.

Lorilie Ballesteros, BRHIN program implementer on HIV, said the youngest HIV patient is a 23-year-old male from Albay.

“We also noted that the number of sexually transmitted infections (STI) are increasing in the region specially in the City of Legazpi,” she added.

Data from the Legazpi Social Hygiene clinic also indicated there were 172 non-gonococcal infections (NGI) diagnosed for the months of November and December last year. NGI means the infection might be clamedia or triconoma, the data explained.

Of the gonorrhea cases in Legazpi City, 50 were diagnosed and given proper treatment, Ballesteros said.

“The continuous spread of STI is basically a behavior in nature and we need to strengthen our education campaign and as much as possible, (propagate the use) of condoms to prevent the spread of the infection,” she moreover said.

Aside from behavior, the absence of a local ordinance to establish a comprehensive STI/ HIV control program in Legazpi City is a contributing factor to the rise in such cases, Ballesteros asserted. PNA

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