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RHWC: Figures on HIV-affected residents ‘inaccurate’

The influx of population could be the reason for the increase of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases in the city, a health official said during the World AIDS Day yesterday.

“Some people may be coming from different places to be tested here, they may be a great contributor for the increase of reported cases here,” Dr. Jordana Ramittere, head of the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) said.

Davao Region ranks fifth in the country with the most cases of HIV. The Department of Health (DOH) reports revealed that 3,476 HIV cases were recorded in the region for the first half of the year. A total of 2,902 came from Davao City.

Ramittere said some migrants took the test here.

“It may be that they will study here, or work here that’s why they transferred in the city. Some may be foreigners or those individuals who came in the city to get tested,” she said.

Ramittere said that the majority of the population who acquired HIV are male. Age may range from 15 to 34 years old who are most vulnerable to HIV. This group is considered a reproductive age.

She, however, admitted that most residents have not yet been tested, considering that the figures on the HIV cases may still be imprecise with these people not tested yet.

“The total number of cases (of HIV) still depends on the people being tested. It is still considered inaccurate since there are those who have not been tested,” Ramittere said.

The RHWC, she said, has been increasing information campaign as “education is needed to help health sectors in disseminating information on HIV.”

“We are also increasing the promotion of testing because we wanted to treat more people. We also wanted to strengthen information drive as to educate them with the proper facts on how to prevent further HIV cases,” Ramittere added.

The city health sectors are also distributing pre-exposure prophylaxis to vulnerable individuals.

“The pre-exposure prophylaxis is provided to prevent individuals who have not acquired HIV, but are vulnerable to getting them,” Ramittere said.

The health sector in the city is still urging people to cooperate in the information drive to reduce the number of HIV cases.

World AIDS Day, observed every Dec. 1, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease.

Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals observe it with education on AIDS prevention and control.

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