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Maasin records 45 HIV cases

Maasin City recorded the most number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases in the province with 45 persons out of 164 cases since 1984 information forwarded data from the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit 8 HIV/AIDS Surveillance Monitoring.
Next to Maasin is Sogod with 19, followed by Malitbog with 11, nine (9) each from Bontoc, Hinunangan, and Macrohon, Liloan with 7 and six (6) each in Anahawan, Padre Burgos, and Tomas Oppus. Five in Saint Bernard, four (4) each in Libagon, and Pintuyan, and three (3) from Hinundayan, and San Francisco. Meanwhile, two (2) each were recorded from San Juan and San Ricardo and one each from Silago and an unknown town according to the latest March 2023 record.
As of March 2023, out of 164 cases, there are 65 persons undergoing an Anti-Retroviral Therapy, most of them are male, 63 (97%) and 2 females (3%).
From the year 1984 cases to this date 37 of them were Lost-To-Follow-Up and 11 are dead.
As of this writing, Maasin City has one new reported case from March, two each from February and January, in contrast to December 2022 record during the duration of the whole year with 26 cases.
The majority of the cases were transmitted mainly thru sexual contact, with 58% (90 cases) of males having sex with males; followed by 35% (39 cases) of males having sex with both males and females; and 16% (24 cases) of males having sex with females. And 1% (1 case) from the Mother-to-Child-Transmission.
Among all cases, the specific population including the newly diagnosed case were from Youth ages 15 – 24 with 40 cases, 16 from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and one from children ages 15 and below.
Recently, Provincial Disease Surveillance Officer Joewil Napuli said that the increased status was due to a decrease in stigma and an increased number of individuals who submit themselves for HIV testing, strengthened surveillance and reporting. There was also increased and easy access to HIV testing in health facilities and communities.
HIV can be transmitted through kissing, food or water, blood, breast milk, semen, vaginal secretions, or in ordinary day life contact by shaking hands, sharing personal objects, and also from an infected mother to her child during pregnancy and delivery.
Antiretroviral medicines or ARV can stop the virus from replicating in the body, the immune system can allow repairing itself and can prevent damage. It can also be prevented by: getting regularly tested for HIV if sexually active, taking PrEP or PEP (tablets that prevent HIV either before or just after being exposed), using condoms, never sharing needles, and taking medication if you are already infected.

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