CHO moves to stop spread of HIV in ZC PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 15:32

By Jasmine Mohammadsali

 

The City Health Office (CHO) is intensifying its advocacy on HIV and AIDS in an effort to curb and control the rising numbers of HIV cases in the City.

For the month of May, the CHO will be spearheading the National HIV Testing Week from May 11- 15 and the 1st City AIDS Congress and International AIDS Candlelight Memorial on May 14 to raise awareness, encourage HIV testing for early detection and treatment, and control the spread of HIV.

Per directive of the Department of Health (DOH), the National HIV Testing Week will provide free confidential HIV testing at the City Health Office – Reproductive Health and Wellness Center. This will run from May 11 – 15, from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

The 1st City AIDS Congress will be participated in by students, non-government organizations, and other stakeholders, to be followed by the AIDS Candlelight Memorial in the afternoon of May 14.

In her report to the local media Monday morning, Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Kibtiya Uddin said the increasing cases of HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases has marked Zamboanga City as one of the risk cities in the country thus necessitating a more intensified HIV and AIDS response.

Based on figures culled from the 2013 HIV Surveillance conducted by the CHO, the City’s HIV prevalence rate is 2.7%, placing it as a risk city.

Uddin said the CHO wants to avoid hitting the 5% prevalence rate mark because this would classify Zamboanga City as a high-risk city.

“If we are not going to do interventions, si hinde gat kita ase bueno el deaton advocacy, baka we will reach that 5% HIV prevalence. Once ya liga ya ta na 5%, akel makamiedo ya gat kel man reverse. Right now, we have to do something,” Uddin explained.

High-risk cities include Manila, Quezon, Cebu, and Davao, all of which have a higher than 5% HIV prevalence rate and what is considered as a concentrated epidemic.

In Zamboanga City, the year 2014 registered the highest number of HIV cases at 46 cases. From January 2015 to present, the CHO has so far documented 11 cases.

Uddin also strongly enjoined residents, specifically those engaged in high-risk sexual behavior, to submit themselves for testing. — Jasmine Mohammadsali