‘Trending’ man-man sex cause of rising HIV-AIDS cases in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 May 2016 12:05

By DOMINIC I. SANCHEZ

An emerging trend attributed to the rise in HIV-AIDS cases worldwide is that recently, even committed male partners of women have also engaged in sexual intercourse with other men.

Clarisa Jauculan-Jose of the Department of Health (DOH) here explained recently that male to male sex is one of the causes of the rise of cases of HIV-AIDS, and the city is not exempted.

“For January to March alone this year, we have 14 new cases with 1 recorded death,” Jose shared. In 2015, 5 deaths due to HIV-AIDS were recorded, 4 deaths in 2014 and 7 deaths in 2013. The figures account for both male and female, with majority being male.

Jose illustrated that from 1995-2009, 195 cases were recorded in the locality. 177 of the total are men.

“Mucho de este maga bisexual o maga homosexual,” Jose explained. (Many of these cases are of bisexuals or homosexuals.) “It is a global trend, and the number one reason is because of anal sex.”

According to the official, people nowadays tend to “experiment” with sex, including anal sex. “Si ta rompe el buli, ta queda este entry point del virus.”

(When the anus is torn due to insertion, the wound becomes an entry point for the virus.)

While the occurrence of anal sex is not unique to men alone, the DOH is strong in its advocacy to be safe with sex, especially when experimenting among partners.

“Just make sure you are safe. If you want to try it, use condom, and make use of plenty of lubricant,” she advised.

Moreover, Jose clarified that homosexuals and bisexuals should not be stigmatized as the only people susceptible to the dreaded virus. “If you have multiple sexual partners, you will most likely acquire it also.”

A person may also acquire the virus also through blood transfusion from an infected individual, hence the importance of HIV antibody tests before donation.

The DOH is encouraging people who share the above-mentioned risk behaviors to get tested for HIV-AIDS at the City Health Office (CHO) for free. “All medicines are free.”

But still, Jose explained that there is no present cure for HIV-AIDS, “but that does not mean that we should give up without giving it a good fight”.

On Sunday (May 14), the CHO and the local multi-sectoral AIDS council held a candle-lighting ceremony, 6 to 10 in the morning at the Sta. Cruz Island pink beach for the International Candlelight Memorial. This activity aimed to honor those who perished due to HIV-AIDS, as well as to raise public awareness on how to prevent the spread of the virus. (DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)