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HIV cases in Cebu remain high

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By Calvin Cordova

CEBU CITY—Cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) remain high in Cebu, according to latest data gathered by the Department of Health’s (DOH) Central Visayas office.

In the month of September alone, 91 HIV cases were recorded in the region, with 67 coming from Cebu, 13 from Bohol, 10 from Negros Oriental and one from Siquijor.

Since 1984, a total of 5,356 HIV cases have been recorded in Central Visayas.

DOH said that from January to September this year, the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Central Visayas reached 747.

One positive note is that Central Visayas dropped to fourth place this year from third last year among the regions with the most number of HIV/AIDS cases.

Despite the drop in ranking, Francis Irvin Baring, DOH regional coordinator for HIV/AIDS, warned that there is no room for complacency since the risk of HIV transmission remains high.
Baring attributed the rise to risky behavior and the sprouting night clubs and bar joints in Cebu.

Still on top of the list are cases of patients who contracted the disease after engaging in male-to-male sexual contact.

From January to September this year, 356 patients were diagnosed with AIDS after engaging in male-to-male sexual intercourse.

Of the 356 cases, 50 were recorded in September, Baring said.

DOH is also focusing on cases where patients acquired the infection after injecting drugs or those who are using Nubain.

Baring said the DOH is coordinating with the police to identify those who are selling Nubain.

Baring said to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, DOH is stepping up its peer education program and the campaign against the use of injectable drugs.

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