ILOCOS SUR – The provincial health office in this province is alarmed by the increase of reported HIV/AIDS cases in recent years.
Twenty-four new cases of HIV/AIDS were recorded in 2016 alone, 22 of which are men while 2 are women.
Since 1984, a total of 116 cases have been recorded in Ilocos Sur.
“Ang pinaka-dominant na mode of transmission natin ngayon is due to male-to-male sex o ang pakikipagtalik ng lalaki sa kapwa nito lalaki,” Provincial Health Office HIV/AIDS Coordinator Ross Anne Barrientos said.
Data shows that since 2010, a notable increase of reported cases can be observed in the province. From only 3 recorded cases in 2010, figures nearly doubled to 5 in 2011 and jumped to 12 in 2012 and 2013.
Nineteen cases meanwhile were recorded in 2014 while 24 cases were recorded in 2015.
Twelve local government units that have recorded the most number of cases in the province. These are Candon City with 15, Vigan City with 14, Narvacan with 8, San Juan and Tagudin with 7 each, Bantay with 6, Sta. Cruz and Santiago with 5 each, and the towns of Cabugao, Galimuyod, Magsingal and Sto. Domingo with 4 cases each.
Most of the affected locals are between the ages of 25 to 34 years and those aged between 15 to 24.
Those who suspect they are infected with the virus are encouraged to avail of testing services of Ilocos Sur Provincial Hospital – Gabriela Silang.
As part of the information dissemination and education campaign of the Department of Health on HIV/AIDS, a forum was set in University of Northern Philippines in Vigan City.
It was attended by both local and foreign students representing the different colleges of the University.