THE CITY logged the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases in Davao Region, with 371 cases from January to August 2023.
From 1993 to Aug 2023, the Department of Health-Davao (DOH XI) HIV and AIDS Program recorded a total of 6,736 cases in the region, wherein 4,654 cases were from Davao City alone.
There were a total of 700 cases from Jan to Aug 2023. After Davao City, Davao del Norte placed second with 152 cases, followed by Davao del Sur with 68 cases, Davao de Oro with 45 cases, Davao Oriental (38), and Davao Occidental (26).
In the region, men having sex with men topped the main mode of transmission with a total of 524, followed by men having sex with both males and females (85), male-female sex (84), three from mother to child, and four with no information.
Meanwhile, the report on cases by age group shows that HIV/AIDS in the region is prevalent among 25-34-year-olds with 343 cases out of 700. It is followed by 15-24-year-olds with 263, 35-49-year-olds (82), 50 years and older (9), and three cases for 15-year-olds and below.
Maria Teresa C. Requillo, DOH XI HIV and AIDS program coordinator, said one of the factors in the rising number of cases is the prevalence of testing facilities in the city. She also sees it as a positive sign that the stigma and discrimination against the disease have been minimized.
The coordinator urged Davaoeños to undergo free HIV testing in government-run facilities.
The DOH XI continues to remind the public that HIV AIDS can be transmitted through the sharing of needles, exchange of blood, and drug injection, despite the low number of cases reported with such.
The Davao City AIDS Council celebrated World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 to eliminate stigma and promote further awareness. Among the activities of the celebration was the “Red March” parade joined by about 70 organizations from the LGBTQ coalition.
Michael Mahinay, Davao City AIDS Council member and Alagad-Mindanao executive director, said it is high time to raise awareness of the virus through an introduction of early sex education in educational institutions in the city.
Photo courtesy of Davao City AIDS Council FB page
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