HIV transmission trend gets faster — DOH

ILOILO City, (PNA) — From one Filipino everyday in 2007, HIV is now infecting one Filipino in every one hour and a half.

This was according to Dr. Felchito Avelino, Director of the Family Health Office of the Department of Health (DOH) Central Office who was with the DOH team during the launching of the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan Roadshow in San Joaquin, Iloilo on Monday.

“That is how fast it is. We are expecting if this trend will continue before the year ends, one (Filipino) every hour will be infected,” said Avelino.

“The epidemic has reached the point of no return,” he added.

By estimates, cases of HIV in the Philippines will already reach 32,000 HIV by the end of 2014.

Avelino emphasized that the said numbers are only those cases that are ‘seen’.

As to the HIV hotspots, Avelino said major cities in the country like Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao are considered hotspots in 2010.

With the fast transmission trend of the creeping diseases, Iloilo City which belonged to Category B or just an adjacent city of the hotspots cities has the making becoming one of hotspots too.

“In 2005, we kept on telling to scale up our intervention and that there was need to engage the community affected with HIV but the support of all sectors on HIV is weak,” said Avelino.

He added that they were thinking that HIV is still far away because they always compare HIV with dengue and other diseases.

“But the difference is, with HIV once you have it, you’ll have it for life and the treatment is for life also. The burden in terms of treatment is so big on the part of the government unlike dengue there is cure,” he explained.

Avelino underscored the importance of awareness on HIV especially among those with risky behavior.

“What is important is in spite what the government is doing now, the persons themselves should have that awareness,” he said.

Early blood test to determine if one is infected is important especially to those who have risky sexual behavior like having multiple sex partners.

“The earlier you get diagnose, the chance to be treated is high also because HIV has no cure,” Avelino said.