After citing a recent Department of Health (DOH) report that found 53 patients between the ages of 10 and 19 contracted HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, through sexual contact, Kabalikat ng Mamamayan (Kabayan) partylist Rep. Ron Salo is calling for a stronger awareness campaign to inform young people about HIV and AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
“We need more aggressive information and education campaigns, especially for the people who are more exposed to the risks,” he said in a release. “The DOH, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Labor and Employment, and Philippine Information Agency must step up their public awareness campaign efforts about how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and where the public can go to have themselves tested.”
In terms of informing young people, Salo also called on the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and local schools to implement such programs.
“Make the millennials understand the consequences of engaging in risky sexual behaviors and the dangers of acquiring HIV/AIDS,” he pointed out.
According to a January 2019 DOH report, there were a total 1,249 newly-confirmed HIV cases across the country, with the median age of patients being 27 years old.
The report also found 98 percent of cases were sexually transmitted, with 62 percent comprised of patients engaged solely in male-to-male contact and another 25 percent engaged in sexual contact with both males and females.
Last month, the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital treatment hub in Bacolod City reported a total of 48 new HIV cases, along with six deaths, recorded between January and February this year.
The 48 cases marks a 41 percent increase from the same period last year.
Of the total cases, 44 were male and four were female./WDJ