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Davao HIV cases still rising despite continued awareness campaigns

DAVAO City averaged 48 new cases of HIV per month, with three new incidents of mother-to-child transmission from January to December 2023.

In December alone, the Department of Health XI registered 44 new cases in December 2023 alone, bringing Davao City’s total to 4,855 HIV cases since 1993. 

During the iSpeak forum on May 16, DOH XI Medical Officer IV Dr. Kris Claudette C. Trangia, Davao City comprised the highest number of incidents, making up 68.7% of the region’s total 7,066 cases.

The region also recorded a 10% increase in incidence rate from 2022 to 2023 data. 

From January to December 2023, Davao City had 572 HIV cases, which averaged to about 48 cases monthly. Of the total, ages ranging from 25 to 34 had the highest number of cases, followed by the 15 to 24 years old and 35 to 49 age ranges. 

Most transmissions are male-to-male sex, followed by male-to-female sex, and bisexual behavior (males having sex with males and females).

Trangia added that DOH XI aims to reach 95% of the patients living with HIV to be enrolled for antiretroviral treatment, and 95% to be virally suppressed. 

Tayo po sa Davao Region where 63 percent po na diagnosed na natin. 63 percent are on ART na po and 83 percent ng mga na test na natin for viral load are virally suppressed,” Trangia said.

Davao City currently has three treatment facilities—the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center, Davao Doctors Hospital, and Southern Philippines Medical Center. Davao del Norte has one, which is the Davao Regional Medical Center.

The DOH XI, along with RHWC and other agencies, will also conduct the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2024 at Rizal Park on May 24 to raise awareness of HIV and campaign against the stigma and discrimination.

“That’s why we are really campaigning na it is our right to know what is our status kung baga let’s not associate the testing for HIV kung ano yung risky behavior mo,” Trangia said.

According to RHWC head Dr. Jordana P. Ramiterre, the awareness should also reach schools to educate the younger people on the prevention of the disease as part of the Republic Act No. 11166, an Act Strengthening the Philippine Comprehensive Policy on HIV and AIDS Prevention, Treatment, Care, and Support. 

“Unfortunately, it’s something that we need to work on because hindi siya ganon ka integrated. Because no matter how we go from school to school, parang every year, ilan lang ba kami sa health to actually do that. It should really have been integrated actually in school,” Ramiterre said.



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