The Department of Health office in the Caraga region in the Philippines recently revealed that they have documented at least 28 new cases of HIV infection this year.
The new HIV victims are all males, and they come from different provinces in the region --- six are from Surigao del Sur, another six are from Agusan del Sur, four are from Surigao del Norte, eleven are from Agusan del Norte, and one is from the Dinagat province.
Health officials in the region are thankful that the 28 men diagnosed with HIV voluntarily submitted themselves for HIV testing, and they are also very concerned that there are more HIV cases around that remain undetected and undiagnosed.
Last year, a total of 31 people were diagnosed with HIV in Caraga, and for the past four years, since 2010, a total of 116 people have been tested positive.
HIV, or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a common and widespread sexually-transmitted infection. It can strike men and women, adults, teens, and even babies.
The most common methods of HIV transmission are:
- unprotected anal, oral, or vaginal sex- exposure to contaminated blood
- sharing of used and infected needles and syringes
- from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, child birth, or breastfeeding
It is important to undergo HIV testing as soon as possible to be able to treat the virus and manage its spread to the different parts of the body. HIV treatment meds can slow down the virus' progression and prevent severe health complications.