Wednesday, 28 March 2012 12:52
Malacañang assured the Aquino government’s commitment to prevent the proliferation of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases in the country through effective information dissemination programs that aim to educate the people on the various ways to avoid being infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that causes the dreaded disease.
In a regular press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacañang on Monday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Department of Health (DoH) remains focused on implementing informative programs to teach the people the facts concerning the fatal infection and the possible ways to protect them from the illness.
Lacierda also noted the importance of decision-making especially to those who are engaged in activities that may pose threat of being infected by HIV.
“The emphasis of the Department of Health is to ensure that the preventive measures to prevent AIDS are being undertaken however this is a social... a personal decision on the part of the people who are engaged in those activities… we continue to promote educational information on the prevention of HIV-AIDS in the country,” he stressed.
“We find it alarming, and that is the reason why we have asked Health Secretary Enrique Ona to ensure that further information measures be conducted in the prevention of AIDS,” he added.
Recent reports revealed that a 41-year-old man succumbed to AIDS last month which was confirmed by the health department.
The DoH also disclosed 274 newly-confirmed HIV cases in the country last month, the highest recorded in the Philippine HIV and AIDS registry.
The number is 72 percent higher than that of the record in the same period last year, which saw 159 new HIV cases in February of 2011.
The report also bared that 235 cases were transmitted through sexual contact where 87 percent are males having sex with other males as the predominant type of transmission.
The DoH report said that 24 or 9 percent of the 274 cases were overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), including 22 males and two females, from 22-57 years old.
AIDS is a disease of the human immune system caused by HIV. The illness interferes with the immune system, making patients much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections and tumors that do not affect people with working immune systems.
Apart from sexual intercourse, HIV may be transmitted through blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles and exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
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