This is a guest post by Lords Screwbero.
Photo Credit: thirty86.com
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or HIV-AIDS is caused due to the Human immune deficiency virus (HIV). AIDS is a life threatening disease and a challenge for the medical world across the globe. The number of AIDS cases reported in a year is increasing in some part of the world, and thus, many volunteer organizations and government are taking significant steps to ensure that people are aware about this deadly disease, the probable causes for it, and the ways to prevent it.
Cebu, Philippines is experiencing a noticeable spike in the AIDS cases since a few years. Nevertheless, Philippines is said to be a Low-HIV prevalence country compared to the statistics across the globe. However, Cebu city in Philippines stands at the second position out of the three most dreaded cities to have higher HIV-AIDS cases reported. Cebu follows Manila and is followed by Davao. Since the year 2011, Philippines has seen a 72% increase in AIDS cases in the year 2012.
According to the statistical data by the department of health (DOH), in the year 2010, country had reported total 4,424 AIDS victims starting from the year 1984. Out of these cases, total 835 cases were reported in the year 2009.
City Health Department’s (CHD) HIV/AIDS Detection Unit of the Cebu city has given the reports that till 2011, total 377 HIV/AIDS cases were reported in the Cebu city alone since 1989. Since, the disease has hit the country in 1980s, total 54 deaths have been reported in Cebu due to AIDS.
Means of Transmission of HIV/AIDS:
• Sexual Contact:
Sexual contact has been the most common cause for transmission of HIV virus. However, what is surprising is that the sexual contact leading to the transmission of the virus is not the heterosexual transmission, but rather homosexual and bisexual contacts. Men having sex with men (MSM) is the most common cause of HIV/AIDS transmission in Cebu city, as anal sex is more prone to the virus infection than heterosexual sex.
• Needle Sharing:
There is a high increase in the drug users and needle sharing for the injection of drugs. This is yet another reason for high number of HIV/AIDS victims in Cebu. Usually drug users group shares the same needle to inject the drugs and facilitates the spread of virus. As per surveillance reports conducted over 300 drug users, 159 were HIV positive. A percent of more than 50% of drug users being HIV positive or at higher risk of developing AIDS is epidemic.
• Mother to Child:
Although, this factor has not yet been significant with not much cases reported of virus transmission from a HIV positive mother to a child, but this reason should be concentrated too.
Steps to Control HIV/AIDS in Cebu:
Health authorities in Cebu have taken note of the alarming increase of HIV/AIDS cases over last year. Sweeping actions are required to fight against AIDS. The CHD is promoting its “ABCDE” program detailed as follows:
• A– Abstinence from sex
• B – Be faithful to your partner
• C – Incorporate use of Condom
• D – Do not use drugs nor share needles
• E – Early detection is the key
People with higher risk such as youth working at call centers with lucrative salaries and risky sexual behavior, MSM groups, the sex workers and drug users are being educated about safe sex, and about refraining from sharing needles to prevent the HIV virus from spreading.
Cebu has seen a growth in the number of HIV/AIDS cases since last few years and this increase is expected to grow further, as the city is highly urbanized city with total population over 4 million and an increasing number of sex workers. Cebu at a verge to be the city with highest HIV/AIDS victims in Philippines is carrying out measures to control this deadly disease. People need to be educated and motivated about safe sex and giving up drugs. This can drop the HIV/AIDS cases in the city.